Another version of “The Match” is on the horizon this weekend, and it’s the best pure golf pairing in the history of the event. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas will be taking on the duo of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Sunday, December 11th, at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.
Obviously, the big question here is the health of Tiger Woods, who had to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge last week due to plantar fasciitis. If this were a ‘normal’ event, Woods would be at a disadvantage, but this is only 12 holes, and the players have used carts in past events.
Here are some considerations for betting on the Match VII
Spieth / Thomas -120
Spieth and Thomas are good friends who have known each other since they were 14 years old. The pair have good chemistry together, as evidenced by their 4-0-0 mark together at this year’s Presidents Cup – the first duo since Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2009 to post a 4-0-0 mark at the event.
Spieth and Thomas are the -120 favorites this weekend, largely due to the question marks surrounding Woods’ health. The team of Spieth and Thomas would almost assuredly be more dialed in, as they both played in the Hero World Challenge last weekend in the Bahamas, with Thomas finishing fifth and Spieth 18th in the 20-person event.
Woods / McIlroy -110
Is The Match VII betting kind of like golfing with your boss where the unwritten rule is that you don’t beat them? Spieth and Thomas owe a lot of the millions they’ve made to how Woods – and to a certain extent, McIlroy – have grown the game over the past two decades.
Woods and McIlroy used to be bitter rivals, but that has turned into more of a friendly rivalry in recent years mainly because Woods has entered into his mid-40s. The duo has even formed a business partnership named TMRW and have announced a new TGL tech-savvy golf league debuting in January of 2024.
McIlroy is in the best form of any of the four golfers playing this weekend. He claimed the FedEx Cup for 2022 and has also won the CJ Cup in what was the TOUR’s most star-studded field of the Fall leg. How much will Woods be a hindrance to McIlroy, though since he hasn’t played competitively since the Open Championship in July?
Best Pure Golf “The Match”
It’s been interesting seeing athletes out of their element while playing in The Match over the years. We saw the great Tom Brady be humbled a bit in the second version of this event and we saw Phil Mickelson carry Charles Barkley (shooting from moved-up tees) over Peyton Manning and Steph Curry in The Match III.
Sunday’s event will be the best pure golf matchup in this series’ history since it started with Tiger vs. Phil. We will get to see a little more of the personalities of both Thomas and Spieth, which golf fans are familiar with, but maybe not the general viewing public. Finally, it’s for a good cause, with proceeds going to help with the Hurricane Ian relief fund.