In Honor of ‘The Match II,’ Relive Michael Phelps’ World Record 2012 Putt

Fans eagerly awaiting the return of professional sports are getting a brief reprieve Sunday, when golfer Tiger Woods and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning took on golfer Phil Mickelson and current NFL quarterback Tom Brady in a golf match for charity at the Medalist Gold Club in Florida.

WarnerMedia and the participants have combined to pledge $10 million upfront, with the money benefitting places like Direct Relief, American Red Cross, Save Small Business and the ALL In Challenge. The first edition of the “The Match” was a head-to-head golf challenge played on November 23, 2018 between Woods and Mickelson at the Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. The purse for that unofficial PGA Tour event was $9 million, with the winner taking home the entire amount.

Manning and Brady aren’t the only pro athletes in other sports to try their hand at the game of golf on national television, however.

Twenty-three-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is an avid golfer himself, and in October 2012, made the longest televised putt in history during the pro-am of the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He sunk a 159-foot (53-yard) putt for an eagle — that’s just short of the length of an Olympic-sized pool.

Phelps’ putt broke the prior televised record of 33 yards, set by broadcaster Terry Wogan at Gleneagles in 1981.

At this point in time, Phelps still had the world believing he was retired after winning four golds in London. Rumors of his comeback would begin to swirl about six months later, and he was back to racing in the pool in April 2014.

Since the above putt, Phelps has often found himself back in the world of golf. He’s competed in multiple pro-ams, and when Woods won his first Masters tournament in 14 years two Aprils ago, Phelps was quite literally behind him.

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Hot take: he’s not just the best he’s also pretty damn lucky.


Definitely. He’s certainly lucky that Cavic picked his head up in 2008. Although he wouldn’t have been in a position to capitalize on that luck if he wasn’t the best. All the luck in the world isn’t gonna let me beat a guy who goes 50.xx in the LCM 100 fly


Phelps was certainly lucky at the finish of that famous 2008 100 fly final, but certainly unlucky in the 200 fly final with the goggles filled of water. And, returning to that 100 fly at Beijing, perhaps also unlucky for the early 2008 swimsuits revolution, considering that at Worlds2007 Cavic wasn’t absolutely so competitive (sixth in the 100 fly final with a 52.53, more than 1 second and 7 tenths slower than Phelps, and Cavic was over the 52″ also in the semi after a 51.70 PB in the heats). Moreover Bowman underrated the potential of those new 50% poly suits (in the 2008 100 fly final only Phelps and Crocker was wearing leggings instead of the full body).


Well all elite athletes are lucky to a large extent (these are people who hit the genetic lottery after all), but even Phelps admits he is lucky , particularly in never having suffered a major injury.


Are there any golfers here that can say if Phelps has skills to be a pro golfer?


As a non-golfer, but golf fan, I’d say he has the natural ability… but I doubt he’d ever find himself in the PGA.

tea rex

I’m wondering, given that this was a low-stakes celebrity match, was the hole location set up basically in the bottom of a funnel?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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