LPGA Set to Make Debut in “The Match” Mixed-Team Event
The LPGA is poised to make its first appearance in the highly anticipated “The Match” event, according to sources familiar with the matter. The made-for-TV competition, which has previously featured PGA Tour stars and sports celebrities, is expected to showcase rising star Rose Zhang and former major champion Lexi Thompson. Joining them will be renowned male players Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner, and Max Homa, who recently triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and appeared in Netflix’s PGA Tour-F1 mashup.
Initial rumors suggested that “The Match” would take place at The Park Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, December 15. However, Golfweek has confirmed that the exhibition has been postponed due to scheduling and logistical challenges. The event is now slated to occur in either the first or second quarter of 2024.
Notable Moments from Previous Installments
Since its inception, “The Match” has delivered captivating moments for viewers. Notable matchups have included Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning facing off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, as well as Bryson DeChambeau going head-to-head with Brooks Koepka. The most recent edition featured NFL stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce from the Kansas City Chiefs competing against NBA stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors, with the NFL pros emerging victorious with a score of 3 and 2.
Last December, Rory McIlroy partnered with Tiger Woods to take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in an 18-hole contest held in South Florida. Similarly, the upcoming mixed-team match is expected to be played under the lights in primetime, adding to the excitement and spectacle.
Lexi Thompson, a prominent figure in women’s golf, will bring her wealth of experience to “The Match.” The 28-year-old American has clinched 11 victories on the LPGA Tour, including the prestigious 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Thompson has also been a key member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team, representing her country for the sixth time this year. Notably, she made headlines recently when she competed in the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open and narrowly missed the cut.
Rose Zhang, a 20-year-old prodigy, has already made a significant impact in the golfing world. After winning the NCAA title at Stanford and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Zhang turned professional in May and triumphed in her LPGA debut. She further showcased her talent by representing the United States in the Solheim Cup in September.
While the ninth installment of “The Match” is expected to deviate from the traditional battle of the sexes format, it promises to deliver an exhilarating mixed-team competition. Stay tuned for more updates on this highly anticipated event.