Previous versions of “The Match” have been complicated from a scoring standpoint as the event has been used to test different formats and rules in head-to-head play.
Things are a bit simpler for “The Match 4.”
Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will compete in an 18-hole match-play round. They’ll use a modified alternate shot ruleset to determine who hits the ball each time.
Sporting News has you covered with a breakdown of the rules, format and scoring system to be used in “The Match 4.”
‘The Match 4’ rules & format
“The Match 4” will keep things simple with its format. The contest between the Phil Mickelson-Tom Brady team and the Bryson DeChambeau-Aaron Rodgers pairing will be match play with a modified alternate shot format.
Previous iterations of “The Match” have featured different sets of rules. In “The Match 2,” the first nine holes were best ball while the last nine were modified alternate shot. Evidently, the organizers of the charity event decided that modified alternate shot was the best format for this competition because it will be featured on all 18 holes of the 2021 event.
What is modified alternate shot in golf?
In modified alternate shot match play, partners will alternate hitting the same ball on a hole, but both players rather than one will tee off. The player who didn’t hit the best shot off the tee will play the second shot, and the teams will continue to alternate shots until the end of the hole. The team with the lowest number of combined strokes will win the hole.
What is match play in golf?
Match play is a style of play in which a player or team earns points for every hole in which they use fewer strokes than their opponent. For example, if Team A combines to shoot 2 under par on a hole while Team B combines to shoot 1 under, then Team A would get the point. The stroke count resets every hole, so total combined strokes during the 18-hole event don’t matter. It’s all about how many holes a player or team wins.
Most professional golf tournaments use stroke play, but the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup are both prime examples of match play in action.
How does match play scoring work?
In match play, a players or team is awarded a point for each hole that they win. If they lose a hole, they’re awarded zero points. If the two players or teams tie on a hole, each is awarded a half-point. The player or team with the most points at the end of the round is the winner, though it’s possible for a side to mathematically clinch a victory before then.
Usually there is a sudden-death playoff if players are tied after 18 holes in match play. That happened in the first iteration of “The Match” in 2018. Phil Mickelson needed four extra holes to knock off Tiger Woods.