Warriors

Phil Mickelson has Steph Curry, Michael Jordan on list for next 'The Match'

Warriors

Steph Curry wants in on "The Match III" and he's certainly one of the names that comes to Phil Mickelson's mind for the next installment of the golf battle with Tiger Woods.

The Warriors star was one of the 5.8 million who watched Woods and Peyton Manning defeat Mickelson and Tom Brady on Sunday in "The Match: Champions for Charity." The event was a huge hit with Brady struggling through the first six holes before holing out from 125 and talking trash to Charles Barkley through his earpiece. Woods was dialed in, Mickelson was his usual self and Manning brought his joke book and his golf game.

Mickelson has already started thinking of potential pairings for the third installment, and Curry is one of the names atop the list.

“I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities," Mickelson told Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times. "Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”

Woods and Mickelson signed on to do three events but due to the success of "The Match II," they now are in talks to do one every year with different celebrities as partners.

 

The first one -- a one-on-one match in Las Vegas saw some good golf but the entertainment value was low for casual fans. Producer Bryan Zuriff, who thought of the idea and first brought it to Woods and Mickelson, wanted to add something to the second version. According to Zuriff, the original idea for "The Match: Champions for Charity" was to have Brady and Curry be the two amateurs.

“At the time I was thinking Tom and Steph Curry because Steph had just signed a deal with Callaway and he was into golf,” Zuriff said.

But since Manning is repped by the same agency as Woods and there is the obvious rivalry with Brady, the two-time Super Bowl champion got the nod.

[RELATED: Rory McIlroy continues to be voice, leader golf desperately needs]

"The Match II" was supposed to be held in June on the same day as Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic moved it up and added a charitable aspect to the event. All in all, the event raised $20 million for relief and Zuriff plans to keep the charitable aspect of the event going forward with a plan to hold it on Thanksgiving weekend as long as health and time allow.

Sports are mainly on pause right now, but "The Match: Champions for Charity" showed a blueprint for how access to the athletes can offset the lack of fans at live events during the pandemic. Sunday's match at Medalist Golf Club had something for the casual fan and the diehard golfer.

Curry was locked in from the opening tee shot, and it sounds like there's a good chance he could be teeing it up in the next installment alongside Woods, Mickelson and perhaps Jordan.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]