Mickelson keen on annual ‘Match’ featuring all-star cast

(Reuters) – The COVID-19 relief match featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning proved a big success and Mickelson hopes it can become an annual event with the likes of basketball greats Steph Curry and Michael Jordan competing.

With live golf halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunday’s telecast of the event dubbed “The Match” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four networks, making it the most-watched golf telecast on cable television.

“I think there’s a market for that… You could showcase guys like Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times.

Mickelson, 49, took on his old rival Woods in an exhibition match in 2018 that showcased high-level golf but lacked entertainment value, and the five-times major winner has learned from his mistakes.

“Having a partner provided for more interaction and I thought the intimacy of the cameras in the golf cart added a ton,” Mickelson said.

The PGA Tour is set to resume with the June 11-14 Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas without fans present.

Other tournaments are also likely to be held without spectators and Mickelson is prepared to consider wearing a microphone during play.

“I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received,” he said on the Dan Patrick Show. “In a real competition on the PGA Tour, where you’re competing for a title, you won’t have that type of interaction.”

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengalaru, editing by Ed Osmond

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