Capital One's The Match
Rose Zhang, Lexi Thompson to star alongside Rory McIlroy and Max Homa in the first mixed edition of The Match
Those who have been clamoring for more mixed events in professional golf will get their wish next month when Rose Zhang and Lexi Thompson tee it up in the first edition of Capital One's The Match that includes top women and men competing against each other. The rising LPGA talent and the longtime LPGA star will be joined by a pair of PGA Tour heavyweights in Rory McIlroy and Max Homa.
For the second time, this version of The Match will take place under the lights on Monday, Feb. 26 at West Palm Beach's newly reimagined "The Park" Municipal Golf Course in Florida. Simulcast coverage across TNT, truTV, HLN and Max will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Trevor Immelman, Christina Kim and Kathryn Tappen will be on hand to call the action. The broadcast also will receive contributions from DJ Khaled and NHL on TNT analyst Paul Bissonnette.
The format has historically been match play, pitting two two-player teams against one another. This version of The Match, however, will be a 12-hole skins game between the four competitors, with each hole worth a specified amount for charity. All four golfers will use the same tees for the four par 3s that are a part of the routing, while the remaining eight holes will use varying tee boxes and yardage for the men and women. The golfer who raises the most funds through the skins format after 12 holes will be declared the winner.
The previous eight iterations of the made-for-TV event have featured only men, some of them not even professional golfers. Current NFL quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, as well as former NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, have each starred in two editions of The Match. The same goes for Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who teamed up with Manning in one and Warriors teammate Klay Thompson in another. Zhang and Thompson will be the first two women to play in the event.
This marks McIlroy's second appearance in The Match, his first also coming under the lights at Pelican Golf Club in December 2022. There, he and teammate Tiger Woods lost, 3 and 2, to the duo of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Like Thompson and Zhang, this will be Homa's first time competing in the event.
The other "star" of this Match will be the golf course. The Park, formerly known as West Palm Beach Country Club, was a PGA Tour venue in the 1950s and 1960s. Renowned architect Gil Hanse designed the new version of the course—whose mission is dedicated to youth programs and community outreach such as affordable golf instruction, classrooms for mentoring and after-school tutoring—along with a two-acre kids-only golf area.
As always, there will be a number of different challenges throughout the event. Those will be revealed at a later date, as will the designated 12 holes they will be using. Only eligible Capital One cardholders will have access to attend the event. Cardholders will be able to purchase or redeem their rewards for tickets exclusively through Capital One Entertainment.