Thomas-Spieth Duo outclass Woods, McIlroy in The Match: Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth emerged victorious over the tandem of Tiger Woods and World No1 Rory McIlroy, 3-and-2 in the made-for-television The Match at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida on Saturday night. The American duo won three of the first four holes and combined for seven birdies in 10 holes to notch the win in the match-play, four-ball exhibition for charity. Betting for golf websites were looking at another Tiger-Rory masterclass but Thomas and Spieth took control of the match early to win the showdown.
Thomas-Spieth Duo Take Control Early
World No. 8 Thomas and 14th-ranked Spieth seized control early under a full moon. Thomas holed in a 10-foot birdie putt in the second hole to put his team 1-up. Spieth made it 2-up with a 15-footer for a birdie in the par-3 third hole. In the next hole where each player is allowed to use only one club, Justin Thomas won the hole for his team as he sank a par putt to make it 3-up. Before getting through the hole, the American used a 5-wood to plunk his approach into a golf cart left of the green.
He rolled the ball to six feet, setting him up for the hole-winning par. McIlroy rolled in a 20-foot birdie to win the 615-yard par-5 seventh as Thomas missed from 12 feet. Thomas restored the lead for his team with a 12-foot birdie in the par-3 eighth. Spieth sealed the win with a six-foot birdie in the par-4 10th after McIlroy sank a five-footer for birdie.
Match for a Cause
The showdown was able to raise USD2.6 million for the benefit of relief charities for Hurricane Ian that struck the region early this year. The stars played relaxed as they joked with each other in the exhibition match. Fifteen-time major winner Woods played for the first time since the British Open in July, more than a year after suffering severe leg injuries in a car crash. The Match was his first competitive stint since missing the cut in July at St. Andrews. All four used golf carts and no caddies in the event, which offered such challenges as hitting tee shots out of their own shadows.
McIlroy, a four-time major winner, is coming off an eventful 2022 as he won the Tour Championship and his third FedEx Cup playoff crown in August. The Northern Irishman defended his CJ Cup title in October for his 23rd PGA victory. Three-time major champion Spieth and two-time winner Thomas combined to go 4-0 win-loss in pairs matches at September’s Presidents Cup and are 8-2 together in Ryder and Presidents Cups.
The made-for-TV golf showdown presented a calm demeanor for all competitors who took part in the event. This is a far cry from the intense clashes between the golfers during competitions. US PGA Tour betting enthusiasts were in for an exciting clash between four of the best golfers around the world, who did not disappoint thanks to their incredible shotmaking.