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  • Alistair Tait

Is it time for British golf to shine for charity?

Updated: May 26, 2020

I’m not a big fan of made for TV matches, or watching celebrities play golf, but yesterday’s The Match is to be commended for doing its bit to raise much needed money for charity.

How about doing something similar in Great Britain that showcases the best of British talent?

Well done to Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for raising $20 million to raise money to help with the struggle against coronavirus, money that follows on from millions Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Matthew Wolff raised last week at Seminole.

“The fact we all came together to raise $20 million for those who have been severely affected, the fact Tom and Peyton, hats off to them for coming out here,” Woods said.

Manning said:

“It will be something I will always cherish.”

A copycat event held somewhere in Britain featuring top British players is something British golf fans would cherish at this time.

Can the European Tour and Ladies European Tour organise something similar to help this nightmare pandemic? I’m sure Sky Sports would jump at the idea to present something similar to The Match since they are so starved of live golf right now.

With golf courses opening up throughout the British Isles and talk of tournament golf resuming in July, it surely can’t be that hard to arrange a similar match to raise money for this crisis?

Here’s my recommendation. Get two of our top male golfers and two of our top female golfers currently based in the UK. Arrange a match similar to last night’s competition at The Medalist. Call on our top companies to sponsor/donate money that would go to help this pandemic. The European Tour and Ladies European Tour certainly have enough connections with big companies. Let ordinary golf fans make donations too. I’m sure the money would come flooding in.

It’s not as if we don’t have the talent to call on. U.S. based players obviously will find it hard to come back and play. However, we have enough home-grown talent who have remained on this side of the pond during the pandemic who would be glad to do their bit. They would provide great entertainment value if miked up.

Can you imagine the quips Eddie Pepperell would come out with over 18 holes? Or Lee Westwood, who has one of the driest senses of humour on tour. Think of the value the ever-popular Tommy Fleetwood would add to such a made for TV charity match. Or Tyrrell Hatton, or Matthew Fitzpatrick. How about last year’s European Tour rookie of the year Robert MacIntyre, assuming it would be within government guidelines at the time for him to travel to play? The Oban player isn’t just a serious competitor, he’s got a wicked sense of humour too. I can imagine the quips he’d come out with.

The LET is blessed with great personalities like Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew, Melissa Reid and Meghan MacLaren who would bring great value to a charity match. Imagine the banter between Laura D. and Eddie P.

The European Tour and LET already have a strong partnership. European Tour CEO Keith Pelley sits on the LET Board. Surely he and LET Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti can put their heads together along with Sky Sports and arrange a one-off coronavirus charity match that features the best British talent?

How about it Keith?

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