Peyton Manning knows a thing or two about coming through in the clutch in the rain in South Florida.
So perhaps it was no surprise Manning didn't flinch when met with wet, soggy conditions for Sunday's "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf event at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.
Manning and his partner, Tiger Woods, held off his longtime rival, Tom Brady, and his partner, Phil Mickelson, in a 1-up victory that ended up raising $20 million for coronavirus relief efforts.
"To go behind the ropes in these guys' world and to kind of be in the arena with them, it was really a special experience," Manning told the Turner Sports crew after the match. "And I was not comfortable the entire time, from the first tee all the way down here (to the 18th), but knowing that $20 million was raised, and helping people that are really going through tough times, it was an honor for Tom and I both to be invited by Phil and Tiger to play in this match, and really something I'll always remember and cherish."
With conditions similar to the night of Feb. 4, 2007, when Manning and the Colts held off the Chicago Bears, 29-17, to claim the Super Bowl XLI title in a driving rainstorm at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., which is just 90 miles south of Sunday's match in Hobe Sound, No. 18 certainly was able to show off how well his golf game has rounded into shape since retiring from the NFL a little more than four years ago.
There was a 45-minute delay at the start, and much like that Super Bowl XLI matchup against the Bears, in which Chicago's Devin Hester took the game's opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, Manning didn't get off to the best of starts, taking a drop after a brutal opening tee shot.
The two teams tied that first hole, but that's when Peyton and Tiger — who have won a combined 17 Super Bowl and major championship titles between the two of them — started to find their groove.
Playing a best-ball format on the front nine, followed by modified alternate shot format on the back nine, the two teams would also tie on hole No. 2, but by Hole 7, Manning and Woods would build a commanding three-hole lead as Brady completely started to come apart at the seams — quite literally.
But as Brady has been known to do from time to time, he rallied. On the Par 5 seventh hole, the now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback holed a ridiculously good iron shot for birdie from 100-plus yards out — with analyst Chuck Barkley chirping into his earpiece, to boot. Unfortunately for Brady, however, Manning/Woods also birded the hole to stay up three.
That incredible shot from Brady set up one heck of a battle the rest of the way. Facing an at-times driving rainstorm, the group played on, and on the Par 4 11th hole, Mickelson hit a bomb off the tee over the trees and right onto the back fringe of the green. Brady was able to sink the eagle putt from there to cut the deficit to two.
Three holes later, Manning would miss a tap-in for par, and all of a sudden, the pesky Brady and Mickelson were down just one with three holes remaining.
From there, Manning and Woods would run the perfect two-minute offense. The two teams would each go par-birdie-par-par to close out the match — Manning hit a beauty of an approach shot onto the, you guessed it, 18th green — to send the legendary Colts quarterback and his host partner into the clubhouse as winners.