Billed as a battle of young stars and old veterans, the hotly-anticipated showdown at Wynn Golf Club went to the final hole, with three-time MVP Rodgers sinking his last putt for birdie and the win.
The 12-hole contest saw crowds at “the Match” for the first time, with players equipped with mics to allow them to communicate with each other and TNT presenters, anchored by sportscaster Ernie “E.J” Johnson.
The psychological warfare waged in the build-up to the sixth edition of event ramped up even further on the course, with Green Bay QB Rodgers sneaking in one last dig before tee-off: “I thought they’d pick some competent golfers, and then I saw the matchup.”
The mind-games extended to the players’ choice of equipment, with Allen proudly showing off his custom golf ball emblazoned with Brady’s infamous photo from the 2000 NFL Scouting Combine.
There have been few bleak moments in the seven-time Super Bowl winner’s distinguished career, but Brady has made no secret of his disdain for the picture. When rumors swirled of Elon Musk’s potential takeover of Twitter in April, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback tweeted Musk asking if he could delete the photo once he bought the social media platform.
However, Brady came prepared with a custom ball of his own, imprinting his with the image of a familiar friend – the Lombardi Trophy.
Having suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Mahomes’ very own Kansas City Chiefs in January’s AFC Championship game, Allen is yet to win a ring, a fact that Brady ensured the Buffalo Bills quarterback was made aware of.
“Josh have you ever seen one of these?” Brady jibed, presenting the ball to Allen. “Do you know what that is?”
On the eve of the contest, Mahomes had admitted to CNN Sport’s Andy Scholes that he expected some nerves on the first tee, and the signs looked ominous early on as Brady and Rodgers took the first two holes to race into an early lead.
“You guys aren’t surprised by this are you?” Brady quipped, though Allen was quick on the draw with a jab about his older opponents both reportedly skipping organized team activities (OTAs).
“These guys are pretty good at golf. That’s what happens when you don’t go to OTAs,” Allen said. “You just play golf all day.”
Showcasing some impressive driving and putting, Mahomes and Allen mounted a comeback that saw them level the contest at the fifth hole, before nudging into the lead for the first time at the eighth.
Victory for the older duo at the 10th teed up a grandstand finish, though according to Mahomes, this was always the plan.
Chatting to TNT anchor Johnson as he drove his buggy to the next tee, Mahomes said: “Ernie, I told you earlier we were going make it good TV.
“Me and Josh just let them get back into it real quick so we can go and finish it off here at the end.”
Nicknamed the ‘Grim Reaper’ by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for his ability to pull his team through grim moments, Mahomes is no stranger to coming up clutch at the death.
Unfortunately for him, neither are Rodgers and Brady. Having birdied the 11th hole, Rodgers repeated the feat at the last to clinch victory, celebrating with a fist pump as the ball was still rolling towards the cup.
“So good, what a putt. Good match, big guy, awesome job,” Brady said to his teammate.
Triumph saw Brady claim his first “the Match” win after two straight losses, while Rodgers added a second straight victory after defeating his teammate in last year’s event.
And despite a day full of trash talk, it was all respect at the close as the four competitors shook hands.