The celebrity game helped raise $4.4 million on Friday

By Sean Neumann
November 27, 2020 08:30 PM
Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley
| Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A day of pranks, trash-talking— and something along the lines of golf — highlighted a memorable chapter in the PGA Tour’s The Match charity series on Friday.

Raising money for historically Black colleges and universities, legendary pro golfer Phil Mickelson largely carried his partner, former NBA all-star and comedic TNT analyst Charles Barkley, to victory, as the pair goofed off and did plenty of good throughout the game.

The two men defeated current NBA star Stephen Curry and retired Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning in the matchup, with a 4-to-3 match win at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Arizona. (No fans were allowed to attend due to COVID-19.)

The four athletes helped raise $4.4 million for the schools, Bleacher Report reports.

The Match: Champions for Change—also known as The Match: 3—was the third iteration of what’s become a charming and hilarious charity series for the PGA Tour.

Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley
| Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Eli and Peyton Manning
| Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Friday’s matchup was the second celebrity pro-am to air this year, after The Match: 2 in May raised more than $20 million for COVID-19 relief and became the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television.

Manning, 44, and golf legend Tiger Woods had defeated Mickelson, 50, and NFL star Tom Brady in the May matchup.

This time around, Mickelson got his revenge. Chirping his way to victory as the only professional golfer on the course, Mickelson even jokingly let Curry, 32, and Manning take a free putt on one hole, showing off his confidence to beat the amateur duo even with handicaps.

“Now that’s a strong cocky move right there,” Michelson told Curry, who couldn’t help but to laugh.

Mickelson has won 44 events, five major championships, and three Master’s tournaments throughout his decorated career. But pulling Barkley to the finish line on Friday was no small task.

Manning gifted Barkley a stack of traffic cones before the NBA legend teed off on one hole, telling him it was for the other golfers’ safety.

Cracking his own jokes, Barkley used a golf ball with fellow NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal's face on it, taking a jab at his TNT co-host, who was making fun of him throughout the broadcast while announcing the game.

“Chuck, if you can’t read words, how are you going to read the greens?” O'Neal joked back, causing their TNT NBA panel co-hosts Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith to crack up.

Still, the unlikely pair pulled off what was a widely expected victory, though Johnson amusingly called “an underdog story” after Mickelson sank the final putt.

“Two people thought this was going to happen,” Mickelson laughed, giving his partner a celebratory hug. “You and me. That’s it!”