Golf

Why ‘The Match’ mainstay Phil Mickelson is broadcasting, not competing in, the 2021 edition

The fifth edition of “The Match” will be the first time that six-time major champion golfer Phil Mickelson won’t be competing on the course.

But, don’t worry. Mickelson will still have a prominent role in “The Match,” which will showcase Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. Mickelson was announced to the broadcast crew for the event, as he will be contributing as a commentator for the TNT show.

Here’s what you need to know about Mickelson’s history with “The Match,” along with his background in broadcasting.

Why isn’t Phil Mickelson playing in The Match?

Mickelson hasn’t come out and said why he isn’t playing in this edition of “The Match,” which will be his first time not competing in the event. However, it can be assumed that the creators of “The Match” wanted to highlight DeChambeau and Koepka’s infamous feud front and center. The two golfers have been going at it for the majority of the 2021 season, so it would be odd to include any other golfers in the equation. 

Phil Mickelson’s record in The Match

In his four other appearances in “The Match,” Mickelson has won two of those competitions. His most memorable performance was during the original match when he competed against Tiger Woods and beat the world’s most famous golfer after four sudden death holes. Mickelson took home $9 million for winning the first edition of “The Match.”

Here’s the results from the previous four matches.

Why is Phil Mickelson on the broadcast team?

Mickelson will be calling the event for TNT alongside former “The Match” teammate Charles Barkley, who has commentated for “The Match” before. This will be Mickelson’s first time on the broadcast crew for the event. Mickelson is an executive producer for “The Match,” so he most likely had a say in giving himself the role as commentator for this edition. 

Brian Anderson of TNT will be the host of the event, while Amanda Balionis will be the sideline reporter.

Phil Mickelson’s previous broadcasting experience

Mickelson made his broadcasting debut during the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship when he joined Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in the booth for 90 minutes to help with commentating. Wildly enough, Mickelson played during the morning round and then joined the CBS crew for the afternoon broadcast.

Fans enjoyed Mickelson’s contributions that day. Golf.com praised Mickelson for his appearance that day.

“Mickelson’s hour-plus in the chair was a revelation: he was insightful, honest, funny — everything you could want from a golf broadcaster — and golf fans ate it up, praising the five-time major winner on Twitter,” read the article.

“The Match” might not be Mickelson’s last time in a broadcast booth in the near future. His representatives spoke with Front Office Sports and hinted that Mickelson might be appearing in more broadcasts soon, starting with “The Match.”

“We’re always in discussions about Phil’s future,” Mickelson’s agent, Steve Loy, said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next 12 to 24 months you might see more of Phil on the air.”

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