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The Match format 2022: Explaining best ball, scoring & other golf rules for Tiger Woods-Rory McIlroy vs. Justin Thomas-Jordan Spieth

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The Match is back, and this time it features four of the biggest names in golf squaring off. 

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will go head-to-head with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the made-for-TV event this Saturday. With a combined 24 major championships between the four competitors, it’s sure to be an entertaining evening of golf.

The event will take place at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, just outside Tampa Bay. The four competitors will be competing to raise money for victims of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian this fall. 

The format this time around is slightly different than some of those used in the past. Instead of the shamble format used in June when Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers took on Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, The Match 2022 will be best ball. That will allow each of the four players to play their own ball the entire time. 

Here’s a full breakdown of the format being used in The Match 2022:

MORE: Watch The Match live with Sling TV

The Match 2022 rules & format

The Match 2022 will use a best ball, match play format. The best score from each side will count for that hole, and there will be a maximum of 12 holes played.

What is match play in golf?

In match play, a player or team wins a hole when they take fewer strokes than their opponent. The number of strokes is reset for the next hole — it has no bearing on any of the other holes. When opposing players or teams both take the same number of strokes on a hole, the hole is a tie, or “halved.”

The goal is to win more holes than your opponent throughout the entire round, thus winning the match. The match can end before the final hole if one team has a lead bigger than the amount of holes left to play. For instance, if Tiger and Rory are leading 3 up on the 11th tee, they are guaranteed to win the match because there are only two holes left to play at that point. 

Most professional tournaments use stroke play, but there are notable exceptions, such as the WGC Match Play and Volvo World Match Play Championship and team events such as the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

MORE: A complete guide to The Match in 2022

Best ball rules in golf

Best ball rules are usually used in team play. Under these rules, the lowest individual score on a team is used as the team’s score for that hole.

For example: Let’s say Tiger makes a birdie on the first hole and Rory makes a par. Only the lowest score is counted, so the team’s score on that hole would be a birdie. If Justin makes a par and Jordan makes a bogey, then Tiger’s birdie would win the hole for his team because it was lower than either player’s score on the other team. 


Credit: sportingnews.com

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