Sunday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief skins match was the perfect return for golf. Was it the most entertaining golf ever played? No. Was the broadcast a little overbearing in some ways (the Bill Murray interview) and then underwhelming in others (not highlighting the course)? Absolutely, but NBC was working with six cameras and off-site hosts, we have to cut them a bit of slack.
The fact that there were actual things to complain about, however, is exactly why the match was perfect. Live golf was played and televised on a Sunday afternoon making life feel normal for a few hours and serving as a very real reminder that things are moving in the right direction. Oh, and over $5.5 million was raised for charity.
Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson may have had the last laugh after taking down Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff during a closest to the pin playoff, but all four players delivered some fantastic moments.
Matthew Wolff’s Shoes
It took all of about seven seconds into the broadcast before we caught a glimpse of Wolff’s tie-dye shoes. It took seven seconds to notice the shoes because the first thing that caught your attention was his Fu Manchu mustache.
Nike’s website doesn’t mention anything about the tie-dye kick and they don’t appear to be made available to the public anytime soon, or ever. One lucky person will be able to snag Wolff’s size 11 though as he is set to auction them off with all proceeds going to charity.
You’re Carrying Your Own Bags Today, Fellas
It had been known for quite some time that there wouldn’t be caddies or carts for the players, but that didn’t make it any less strange to see them carrying their owns bags for 18 holes.
Seeing McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world, have to toss his bag over his shoulder was unique, to say the least. It was great to see all four players, who have a combined 44 PGA Tour wins and five majors between them, have the straps working on Sunday.
DJ Being Too Relatable
While the players carrying their own bags was extremely relatable, the most relatable moment came from DJ and it happened before the group finished the first hole.
Johnson roasted a putt by the hole and with his ball well outside the gimme range, Fowler and Wolff didn’t concede it. DJ clearly forgot to grab a traditional ball mark out of his bag so he decided to mark his ball with a tee. This is both mine and I’m sure plenty of other people’s signature move on the first green.
Later in the match, Wolff asked Johnson to move his mark one to the left and instead of placing his putter head down and moving it the length of the putter head, he just estimated it with his finger and pushed it over. It was a charity match, sure, but that too was pretty damn relatable.
Rory McIlroy Reminds Us That He’s A Human And Makes Mistakes Too
Leading up to the match, all four players were honest about the fact that they hadn’t actually played much golf over the past couple of months. There were plenty of great shots throughout the match, but plenty of poor ones that made it very clear that these guys haven’t quite gotten back into ‘serious golf’ mode just yet.
McIlroy did have an absolutely brutal, sidehill lie, but his chunked chip served as a reminder that he is indeed a human. The bad chip should also make every single golfer out there feel just a bit better about their game.
Playoff Drama Is Playoff Drama, No Matter The Situation
There weren’t any edge of your seat moments during the match for viewers, but McIlroy eluded to it during an interview that they were feeling a bit of pressure themselves to deliver for the charities they were playing for. And there wasn’t a more pressure-filled moment until the final swing during the closest to the pin playoff worth $1.1 million.
Wolff had already hit a solid shot that was followed by Fowler and DJ both missing the green. This left McIlroy and one final swing to change things and the world No. 1 delivered.