The sixth version of “The Match”, a PGA TOUR match-play exhibition series, will take place on Wednesday, June 1.
This version will see four amateurs tee it up against each other as four of the highest-profile quarterbacks in the NFL team up for some match play action. Tom Brady (8.1 handicap) and Aaron Rodgers (4.6 handicap) take on the emerging duo of Josh Allen (9.0 handicap) and Patrick Mahomes (7.7 handicap) in a modified alternate shot, match play scenario.
The event will take place at Wynn Golf Club in Paradise, Nevada this year, the exact same venue where the Match between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka took place last Fall. The course map and how it’s played will be modified in rotation for the event and to keep things lively for television. The modified alternate shot rules also mean all four players will tee off on every hole (even the par 3s). The player with the worst tee shot on his team will then have to play the next shot and players will alternate shots until the end of the hole. The team with the lowest number of combined strokes will then win the hole.
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I’ve written up my thoughts for the pool below and have tried to give you decisive picks and strategies to employ at each level. Hope you enjoy!
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Who will win The Match? Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers or Josh Allen & Patrick Mahomes
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers not only trump Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl wins (eight to one) but they also have them covered in handicap too. Rodgers is by far the best player of the group with a 4.6 handicap and regularly takes part in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.
Brady is no slouch either and this will be the second Match appearance for both Brady and Rodgers. The experience and skill factor both go to Brady and Rodgers and they look like they should be bigger favorites than they currently are on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Choice: Brady & Rodgers
What will the outcome of the first hole be? Win (either side) or Hole is Halved.
Yes, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen can probably throw a football 70+ yards but have they ever had their tee shot off of hole 1 of their Sunday tee time televised? Add in the fact two of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game will be watching and you have to think some nerves will be in play for the younger duo. The chalk answer for this one is likely that the hole will be halved, but the hole itself could decide things as number one is set to be a tougher par 4 that measures around or over 450 yards. I’d not hesitate to get cocky with this one and lean the favorites again. Experience and a skill advantage should lead to a quick start as well.
Choice: Brady & Rodgers
Which team will go two up first? Win (either side) or Neither team
It has to be obvious which way we’re leaning on this one. I’m sure Mahomes and Allen will make a charge at some point, but I expect Brady and Rodgers will be the quicker out of the gate. Raiders fans know Brady always gets the rules decisions called in his favor too.
Choice: Brady & Rodgers
Hole 4: Will anyone hit a hole in one? Yes (either team) or No
The odds of an amateur hitting a hole in one are around 12,000 to one on any given Par 3. I get that Tom Brady is playing and he’s probably closer to 12-1 than 12,000 to one (given the way life tends to work out for him), but I’ll pass. If you want to take those odds, be my guest. I’ll look to be contrarian elsewhere.
Hole 4: Nearest to pin after tee shot? Win (Rodgers, Brady, Allen or Mahomes) or No player hits the green with tee shot
The fourth will play as a short par three at around 147 yards. The tee shot looks diabolical for an amateur though with water jutting into portions of the round green. While the highest skill player of the four is Rodgers, Mahomes does have the second-best handicap of the group. This feels like a spot where we’ll see the aggressiveness and pure athleticism of Patrick Mahomes shine through and at least make it interesting. Mahomes and Allen may also be down at this point, so they will also likely be firing away at the pin. I like going with Mahomes for our hero on this hole, which should be a ton of fun to watch given the setup.
Choice: Patrick Mahomes
Hole 5: Longest tee shot? Tom Brady or Josh Allen?
Age-old efficiency or pure raw power? If you saw both men post their off-season flex pictures on social media this spring you know there’s really not much choice on this one. Sure, we’d probably take Tom Brady in a driving accuracy contest over Allen, but that’s not what we’re being asked to do in this question. Allen should be able to grip it and rip on the 590+ yard Par 5 fifth hole as a small stream down the left represents the only real trouble on this hole.
Choice: Josh Allen
Hole 7: Longest tee shot? Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes?
This one is interesting. The seventh hole is a winding Par 5 with tons of elevation change, which could mean lots of roll if the players hit the fairway. I’d normally side with Aaron Rodgers on this one as he’s got the skill edge and finding the fairway will be key in this spot. However, Mahomes has talked candidly about he and Allen having a significant distance advantage over the “old guys” and he’ll likely be trying to back up that claim on these longer holes. We’ll again side with Mahomes, who should be good for a couple of big tee shots in this Match to at least try and save face from the fact his team will likely be losing in the overall score at this point.
Choice: Patrick Mahomes
Which team will finish with more birdies? Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers or Josh Allen & Patrick Mahomes
Unfortunately for Mahomes and Allen, the whole “chicks dig the longball” thing doesn’t apply to golf. It’s drive for show putt for dough and in the Match IV, where Aaron Rodgers teamed with Bryson DeChambeau, nobody was more clutch than Rodgers on the greens, who sunk a ton of big putts, including the match clincher. Look for the veterans to capitalize with better efficiency on their chances and make a couple more birdies for the round as well.
Choice: Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers
How many birdies in total will be hit? Over 8.5 or under 8.5
We have to consider the format when answering this question. If this were a true fourball format, where each player was playing their own ball on each hole, the over would likely be the answer. However, the modified alternate shot rule means teams only have one ball in play after the tee shot and must alternate shots thereafter. Nine combined birdies is a lot for four amateur players, even if they are getting mulligans essentially off the tee every hole. One cold putter from either team should sink this one to the under on its own.
Will either team make an eagle in The Match? Yes or No
There are a couple of very reachable par 5s on the course, with the Par 5 seventh also potentially giving the players a very short iron approach if they catch the right slopes. Still, even the professionals only make an eagle on about 1% of their holes played (or less) in a year. Miracles do happen but it’s still better to take the easy no answer on this one and look to other questions to differentiate yourself on.
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