Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change Brings Some Joy to 2020


Getty Images for The Match

TUCSON, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 27: (L-R) Stephen Curry, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley pose for a portrait prior to Capital One’s The Match: Champions For Change at Stone Canyon Golf Club on November 27, 2020 in Oro Valley, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for The Match)

Jaymin Kanzer, Sports Editor

The third edition of Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change took place over the weekend. NFL and Colorado Legend, Peyton Manning, paired up with NBA superstar Stephen Curry. The duo went up against Hall of Fame power forward, Charles Barkley, and 15-year phenom of the PGA tour Phil Mickelson. 


The Match is a charity golf event with proceeds going to historically black colleges and universities. Manning and Mickelson have both participated in past versions of this event. In early May of this year, Manning and Tiger Woods paired up and faced off against Tom Brady and Mickelson. The Match 2 ended up making over 20 million dollars for COVID-19 relief and Capital One was looking for the same result. Manning took home the gold last time around and was looking to make it 2 for 2, while Mickelson was looking to not let that happen. 


Manning and Curry were the heavy favorites going into Friday’s matchup at the Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona. Vegas was giving odds of Curry and Manning at -182, which means if you were to put a 182 dollar bet on the duo, you would receive a 100 dollar profit. Another reason Mickelson and Barkley were such underdogs is that Barkley infamously doesn’t know how to swing a golf club correctly. A very weird windup and a random pause that occurs during different times in his swing make it hard to be a good golfer with that type of swing. 


The first hole went according to Vegas’ plans, as Mickelson took a bogey and Manning sunk the putt for the par. Manning and Curry up one. It didn’t take long for the pro-golfer to get in his stride though, birdying the next two, and then getting par on the next four. Thanks to a bit of luck from Manning’s bogeying hole 7, at the end of the streak the underdogs were up four strokes. The only reason the streak ended was that Barkley bogeyed hole 8 and Curry stayed even, which made the favorites a stroke closer to tying the game. A missed opportunity from Manning on hole 11 hurt the duo greatly. They had the chance to make up three strokes on Barkley’s atrocious triple bogey, but a bogey from Manning, as well, only pulled the two within three strokes. This quickly changed when Curry double-bogeyed on hole 12, which gave Mickelson and Barkley a four-stroke lead going into the final 3 holes. Two pars and a bogey from Mickelson sealed the victory for the underdogs, and I’m sure lost a lot of Vegas betters a lot of money. On hole 15, as he was tapping in the winning putt, Mickelson goes “Thanks a lot gentleman.”


The official amount that was donated to HBCU’s has not been released yet, but it is safe to assume it is in the same ballpark as 20 million, because that was how much was raised in the last edition.