‘The Match’: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers defeat Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen


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Score one for the old guys.

The team of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady — combined age: 82 — staged a comeback Wednesday to defeat their 26-year-old opponents, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, in the sixth installment of “The Match.” The matchup of NFL quarterbacks, held at the Wynn Las Vegas golf course, marked the first time the event did not involve a PGA Tour star.

After Brady leveled the match with a, go figure, clutch putt at the 10th hole, Rodgers followed suit by draining a birdie putt at the 12th and final hole for the win.

“I felt really good about it, to be honest,” Rodgers said afterward. “… I felt good about the line and, when I hit it, I knew it was going in. About four holes ago, 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.’ ”

Moments before, Allen had nearly sunk his birdie attempt from much farther away, but ultimately he and Mahomes were left to congratulate their elder counterparts on their victory in the made-for-TV charity fundraising event.

Previous versions of “The Match” featured the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, and on more than a few occasions Wednesday, the foursome’s play reminded the national audience that it wasn’t witnessing the highest possible standard of golf. Brady and Allen, in particular, hit their share of wayward shots, but Rodgers again proved steady in the event, following his winning performance at the “The Match IV” in 2021.

Brady referred to that showdown, in which he and Mickelson fell to Rodgers and DeChambeau, while praising the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s putting Wednesday. In each of the several times he has played with Rodgers, Brady said, the former has “made a 15-foot putt to win,” so “it didn’t surprise me when it went in” against Mahomes and Allen.

Mahomes also got hot with his putter in Las Vegas. His daring on the greens went a long way toward helping him and Allen overcome an early 2-down deficit to take a 1-up lead after the eighth hole. Mahomes also won a long-drive challenge with a 318-yard effort at No. 7 — which also happened to be the only drive that found the fairway and thus was eligible for the contest.

Along the way, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was pounding beers early and often, which he explained was meant to counteract his team’s slow start.

“It’ll help me for a while, as long as I don’t drink too much of it,” Mahomes said of his “swing juice” on the TNT telecast. “I was going to wait until the fourth hole, but I got down so I had to go and open one up a little bit early.”

As is always the case for “The Match,” the contestants wore microphones and frequently kibitzed with one another and a TNT announcing crew that included Charles Barkley. For his part, the Basketball Hall of Famer took advantage of the opportunity to take a shot at Shaquille O’Neal, his fellow TNT analyst, of whom Barkley said, “That’s the one good thing about doing golf: I don’t have to be around that idiot.”

Early in the match, Brady held up a ball featuring an image of the Lombardi Trophy printed on it and asked Allen whether he had “ever seen one of these.” The Buffalo Bills quarterback, the only member of the quartet who has yet to win the Super Bowl, could only flash a good-natured smile while replying, “I’ve seen one before.”

After hitting a ball fat and seeing it come up short on a par-3, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback proclaimed of the shot: “A little chunky. I call that a little Josh Allen-y.”

Much of the most notable trash-talk came in the lead-up to the event, particularly during a promotional conference call with reporters last week (via the Athletic), when Rodgers mocked Mahomes’s voice by referring to the Chiefs star as “Kermit the Frog.”

“Golf s— talk is a little different than pro football s— talk,” Brady said then. “Usually pro football s— talk, you have to back that up. Josh really hasn’t backed much up on the football field in his career, let’s be honest — especially playing against me.”

When the 12 holes were finished Wednesday, Brady again got the better of Allen.

“It was nerve-racking, for sure,” Allen, who admitted earlier in the day that he vomits before every NFL game, said when “The Match” was over. “I didn’t compete how I wanted to today, but Pat went absolutely unconscious there for about five holes.”

“Obviously, we wanted to win, but we were able to give it a good run,” Mahomes said. “Hopefully we can run this back — maybe next offseason.”


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