Who won “The Match” between NFL quarterbacks: Brady, Mahomes, Rodgers and Allen?
Swapping Hail Mary’s for birdies the quartet of superstar QBs paired up for a round of golf that grabbed plenty of attention.
More accustomed to hitting their wide receivers and trying to avoid being sacked by opposition defensive lines with fire in their eyes, Wednesday saw a much more tranquil type of competitive action for some of the National Football League’s best quarterbacks.
Golfing challenge ‘The Match’ returned in 2022 and this time it was all about the NFL. Previous editions of Capital One’s competition have normally featured established professional golfers either playing on their own or paired with a professional athlete from another sport. This year, for the first time, there wasn’t any golfers present as the line up consisted of QB legend Tom Brady and Packers star Aaron Rodgers teaming up against the two young guns of the league in Bills’ Josh Allen and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.
The four stars played a 12-hole event at Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas, in what was sixth edition of “The Match,” which began in 2018 as a head-to-head contest between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The event used a “shamble” format, in which the teams chose the better of their two tee shots but played their own ball for the rest of the hole.
Rodgers nails birdie for old boys victory
As is turned out, it was Rodgers who sank the winning birdie putt at the final hole after landing his tee shot pin-high. That handed him and Brady a 1-up victory over Mahomes and Allen. The match was all square through 11 holes heading to the par-3 12th. Rodgers had the better shot for his team, and Mahomes found the far end of the green after using his mulligan. Allen nearly holed an impossibly long birdie putt for his team, but it missed by centimeters. After Brady missed the birdie attempt, Rodgers benefited from the read and walked his putt in.
“I felt really good about it, to be honest,” Rodgers said. “Tommy gave me a great read. ... With about four holes to go, things got pretty serious and I think we buckled down a little bit because these two were playing really good and we didn’t want to come out of here with an L.”
New boys Mahomes and Allen played well
It was Mahomes’ and Allen’s first time competing in the series of golf exhibitions, which have also featured Stephen Curry, Peyton Manning and Charles Barkley. It was Brady’s third appearance and Rodgers’ second. This was the first edition not to feature any professional golfers.
Rodgers rolled in a birdie putt to win the first hole for the veterans, and at the par-5 second, Brady two-putted for birdie. Mahomes missed his birdie putt to tie, putting the youngsters in an early hole, 2 down.
At the short par-4 third, everyone chipped or putted up the front apron of the green. Mahomes’ second shot, a putt, stopped inches from the hole for a gimme birdie that no one could match, trimming the lead to one.
Brady’s driver wasn’t working for him, but he was closest to the pin on the first two par 3s, the fourth and sixth holes. However, the next movement happened at the par-5 fifth, when Mahomes dialed in a nice approach to set up an eagle try. His two-putt birdie was enough to square the match.
The Kansas City Chiefs star kept rolling at the par-3 eighth. Mahomes landed his tee shot 7 1/2 feet from the pin and made birdie to win the hole, giving the youngsters their first lead.
Brady and Rodgers tied it at the short par-4 10th. Rodgers drove the green and Brady sank the only birdie, evening the match to set up the dramatic finish.
Allen used a ball with an infamous picture of a shirtless Brady from the 2000 scouting combine. Brady took an opportunity to get him back early in the match after the Buccaneer hit a poor drive.
“A little chunky,” Brady said of his shot. “I call that a little Josh Allen-y.”
More than 10 million meals were donated to Feeding America as part of the charitable aspect of the event.