6 takeaways from 'The Match: Champions for Change'
Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley cruised to the finish line at "The Match: Champions for Change" to handily beat Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona.

The charity event, which was the third edition of The Match franchise, may not have replicated the drama of the most recent competition won by Tiger Woods and Manning, but it was another fun afternoon of golf when there wasn't much else happening in the sports world.

Here are six takeaways from The Match III:

Barkley stole the show

Surprisingly, Barkley wasn't "turrible," and he was by far the most entertaining player of the match.

Expectations were extremely low for the 25-handicapper, but after Barkley stripped the first few tee shots down the middle, it was game on for the underdog team of Chuck and Phil.

"Sir Charles" was dishing out digs, one-liners, and was feeling himself so much that he called the producers to find old reruns of "Law & Order" because the match was going to end a lot sooner than expected.

There were lowlights of course, such as when he hit a shank that shot tracer somehow picked up.

No one is calling for Barkley to be a golfer in all future matches, but he solidified his role as the event's perfect entertainer.

Mickelson loves coaching

A large reason why Barkley found more success than most people anticipated was Mickelson's coaching. From the first tee, Mickelson was in Barkley's ear about club selection, strategy, and how to hit each shot, all while being positive and reminding Barkley about things the two of them had worked on.

Perhaps it was a little overboard at times, but Mickelson's passion for golf and winning was evident from start to finish. It was clear he had a lot of pride in how Barkley played, and Lefty provided a glimpse of what he might be like as a future team captain.

The golf was bad

You're definitely feeling let down if you tuned in Friday afternoon to watch good golf. The poor shots were the most memorable, most notably a Curry chunked chip and a Barkley shank. Manning wasn't much better, while Mickelson also hit a couple of patented errant tee shots.

The teams combined for only five birdies, two of which came on the 15th hole when the teams were playing a scramble. But no one can argue the golf wasn't entertaining, which is the whole point, right?

The cause was great

Shifting to a charity event for the second match was a fantastic decision, and it got rid of the stink of Mickelson walking away from the first edition with $9 million.

The Match III was intended to raise money to help create scholarships for both the men's and women's golf teams at a handful of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, and Grambling State, among others. It was a success, totaling nearly $5.5 million. Continuing to make these events about charity is the only option moving forward.

Tiger isn't needed

The Match III proved that Woods' involvement - while beneficial - isn't necessary to create an entertaining product. This was the first time Tiger didn't participate in the made-for-TV event, and while it's unknown if he'll ever return to the franchise, it's nice to know these events can thrive without him. The quality of golf may have taken a hit, but the lightheartedness and seriousness of the competition remained.

Two pros are necessary

With that being said, it's clear two professional golfers need to be involved in all future matches. For as good of a player as Curry is, he wasn't good enough to pick up Manning's slack and make the match more competitive. Curry and Manning, who were the betting favorites, failed to make a birdie while playing modified alternate shot and were 9-over after 14 holes. Insert a professional in either Manning's or Curry's spot and this match would have been a lot closer.

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6 takeaways from 'The Match: Champions for Change'
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