INDIANAPOLIS — Frank Reich sounds like someone who knows Peyton Manning’s golf game quite well.
The Indianapolis Colts third-year head coach enjoyed Sunday’s “The Match: Champions For Charity,” in which the team of Manning and Tiger Woods defeated the duo of Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson 1-up at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. The event earned $20 million for COVID-19 relief efforts.
“That was fun, I got to say,” Reich said in a Tuesday Zoom video conference call of his family taking time out from observing Memorial Day to view the golf. “I watched pretty much the match from start to finish. I found myself captivated by it. I had a lot of fun watching it with my family and rooting Peyton on.”
Much like his football playing days, Manning kept delivering clutch shots — including birdies on three par-three holes. His tee shot on the 16th hole came to rest just 17.5 inches from the cup to win closest-to-the-hole honors and a $125,000 donation.
Reich was Manning’s Colts quarterbacks coach in 2009 and 2010, so he knows how competitive the retired five-time NFL MVP can be about anything.
“I was impressed with his game,” Reich said. “Those are tough conditions, right? The rain was brutal. I thought Peyton did great. His iron play was great. That shot on 16, and then on 18, those were clutch shots when the match was on the line.
“I was equally impressed with Tom Brady. His swing, I know he got off to a little bit of a rough start, but it was just fun watching those guys play. It’s always fun watching Tiger and Phil play.”
Brady struggled with his tee shots early, but hit the shot of the round when he holed an approach from just beyond 100 yards out for a birdie on No. 7.
As a former NFL quarterback, Reich praised the passers playing well amid the conditions and showing a national-television audience that quarterbacks can excel at other sports.
Oh, and Reich was pleased with the end result.
“The quarterbacks represented themselves well,” he said, “but glad Peyton and Tiger won.”
(Phillip B. Wilson has covered the Indianapolis Colts for more than two decades and authored the 2013 book 100 Things Colts Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. He’s on Twitter @pwilson24, on Facebook at @allcoltswithphilb and @100thingscoltsfans, and his email is email@example.com.)