Four of the biggest names in the National Football League will be trading on their playbooks for greens books Wednesday as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers look to utilize their experience on the golf course against Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The quartet has been in the spotlight before on the golf course through the years in various pro-ams, celebrity events and charity outings, but never has it been mixed with the trash talk and fireworks of an NFL Sunday.
The sixth edition of The Match is scheduled to take place later this week just outside Las Vegas at the Wynn Golf Club. The exhibition outing, which first pinned Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson in 2018, has since taken on a new shape and evolved to become a team charity event.
The Match has had many different formats throughout the years, including an 18-hole match of Woods and Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Brady. Other athletes have been involved in later renditions of the event, including Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry and Rodgers.
This match is not the first to be featured at the Wynn Golf Club. Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka faced off last November in a one-on-one battle in which Koepka came away victorious. Additionally, this is the first edition that will not feature a single professional golfer.
The Match 2022
Gives you: Wednesday, June 1 | Team: 7 pm ET
Location: Wynn Golf Club — Paradise, Nevada
12 holes of match play, modified alternate shot
Scoring by hole: Win = 1 | Halve = 0.5 | loss = 0
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers: Brady has succeeded in just about everything in his life … except for this event. The seven-time Super Bowl champion will be making his third appearance in The Match and remains winless. Brady’s had many memorable moments in his two prior outings — from splitting his pants to holing out from the middle of the fairway. The 44-year-old has yet to show his best stuff from him, but he does boast roughly an 8-handicap. That is on the higher end of the four players, but the swing is silky and having the most experience ought to count for something. Rodgers, meanwhile stole the show in his first and only appearance in The Match, holing clutch putt after clutch putt while subtly throwing jabs at his teammate, Bryson DeChambeau. Rodgers owns the lowest handicap of all competitors, coming in around a five. He has since participated in the American Century Championship in 24th ahead of Alfonso Ribeiro, who is a good golfer in his own right. Despite their on-field battles, he and Brady should have good chemistry and hold the upper hand when it comes to what to expect in this format.
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes: Being young and inexperienced may be enough to propel this duo to victory. Allen was last seen in the public viewing of golf fans at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am when he joined forces with Keith Mitchell. Coincidentally, he was a late addition to the field after he and the Bills were knocked out of the playoffs in the AFC Divisional round by Mahomes and the Chiefs. Per the USGA GHIN handicap system, it is roughly an 8-handicap — like Brady — and shouldn’t have issues in front of the cameras. Mahomes may be the wild card of the bunch, which slightly mirrors his (and Allen’s) play on the gridiron. He has participated in the American Century Championship and even won an event at the Wynn Golf Club a few months ago alongside his main target, Travis Kelce. He may have the most firepower in the bag, but it is relatively unknown if he is capable of harnessing it in the right manner. He tied for 50th out of 87 players at Lake Tahoe last July, sandwiched between ESPN’s Joe Buck and LSU football coach Brian Kelly.
picks and odds
Odds courtesy of Sportsline: Brady/Rodgers -160 | Allen/Mahomes: +140
It is an unsettling feeling to tie money to a charity event, especially since The Match has been rather unpredictable over the years. The underdog has won three times in the five prior playings, and based on this history, the smartest option is simply to take the plus-money side. According to their official handicaps, the duos are pretty even skill-wise, so the +140 price tag on Allen and Mahomes makes for the correct play despite their lack of experience in this format. Pick: Allen/Mahomes +140