The LPGA could be making its debut in “The Match” in a mixed-team version before too long, Golfweek has learned.
According to multiple sources, the latest rendition of the made-for-TV event, which has featured PGA Tour stars and celebrities from the world of sports, is expected to include rookie phenom Rose Zhang and former major champion Lexi Thompson. The two male players being discussed are no slouches either: four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and Max Homa, who recently won the Nedbank Golf Challenge and appeared in Netflix’s PGA Tour-F1 mashup.
Rumors have been flying that The Match would be held at The Park Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, Dec. 15, but Golfweek has confirmed that the exhibition has been delayed due to scheduling and other logistical challenges and won’t happen until the first quarter of 2024 or possibly in the second quarter of the year.
“I will acknowledge we’ve had some conversations but there are no intentions to have a Match in December,” said Nate Smeltz, senior vice president of global communications and talent relations for WBD Sports, which has produced the event, which typically airs on TNT and utilizes Bleacher Report, which is also under the WBD umbrella, for exclusive digital coverage.
Last December, McIlroy teamed with Tiger Woods against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Just as in that 18-hole competition in South Florida, the proposed match would be contested under the lights in primetime.
The Match has previously included Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, Bryson DeChambeau head-to-head against Brooks Koepka and most recently in the eighth installment in July between the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. (The NFL pros came out on top, winning 3 and 2.)
Zhang, 20, won the NCAA title at Stanford and Augusta National Women’s Amateur before turning pro in May and winning in her LPGA debut. She represented the U.S. in the Solheim Cup in September.
Thompson, 28, is an 11-time winner on the LPGA including the…