Golf

Phil Mickelson kicks off first round of trash talk ahead of charity golf match with Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson isn’t waiting until he reaches the first tee box. The trash talk starts now.

Ahead of Sunday’s “The Match: Champions for Charity,” a golf competition pitting Mickelson and Tom Brady against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning, “Lefty” is throwing a few verbal jabs at his opponents. Mickelson is feeling confident ahead of the event, which will be held at Medalist Golf Club, Wood’s home course in Hobe Sound, Fla.

“I can’t wait to go to Tiger’s place and take him down,” Mickelson told Golfweek. “Tiger thinks he has a huge advantage playing there because he was insistent that this event is played on his home course. Despite everyone else wanting to play it elsewhere. That’s fine. We’ll take it to him and Peyton.

“There will be no excuses. It’s his home course but Tom and I are going to go down there and put it to them, and we’ll make it that every time Tiger shows up at his home course, he’ll have a bad memory.”

The duos will battle for 18 holes (front nine of best ball and back nine of modified alternate shot), providing a welcome distraction for sports fans amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. More importantly, WarnerMedia and the foursome will collectively donate $10 million to benefit COVID-19 relief.

But just because it’s an exhibition doesn’t mean it won’t be competitive. With all players set to be mic’d up on the course, expect more chatter than the original match between Mickelson and Woods, which ended with a Mickelson victory.

“Tiger and I clamped up the first time,” Mickelson said. “That won’t happen again. I think having Peyton there will be a big part of it because he gives me and Tom somebody to rough up. Peyton, when he comes back at you, he does it in a funny way that elicits a laughter from you as opposed to a defensive response.

“And I think that’s why he’s so funny, because even the person he is cutting up finds it funny and doesn’t take it personal. And that will allow us to free it up and do it a little bit more.”

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