BOB WEST ON GOLF — NFL’s top quarterbacks set to compete in The Match

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Arguably, the best four teams in the NFL heading into the 2022 season are Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Kansas City and Buffalo. Sorry, Cowboys fans. And, yes, the defending Super Bowl champion Rams are in the conversation.

You must already be wondering what does all that have to do with a golf column being written for June 1. Glad you asked, because it’s tied into the best-kept secret in perhaps the busiest week of meaningful golf in 2222.

In a five-day period that will see an NCAA champion crowned, a U.S. Women’s Open champion determined and titles won in Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Championship and the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, the sixth version of The Match is flying well under radar in Las Vegas.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

You say you weren’t aware. Well, you aren’t alone. But if you’re looking for a fun golfing watch, it wouldn’t hurt to tune into TNT at 5:30 this afternoon. An event that started with Phil Mickelson going head-to-head with Tiger Woods for $1 million in 2018 has now been taken over by NFL quarterbacks.

That would be Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. Star of the non-participants, meanwhile, will be good old Charles Barkley providing analysis and commentary that may occasionally make sense.

Nobody is promising high caliber golf, as NFL greybeards Brady and Rodgers take on rising AFC stars Mahomes and Allen. But these guys are reasonably good players. Plus, there will be some big-time smack talk, as evidenced by the fact Rodgers has started referring to Mahomes as Kermit. As in Kermit the frog.

Use your imagination on that and figure this particular combination of athletes from another sport will send the Chuckster’s usual outrageousness to new levels.

Charitable causes, as always, will be the big winner in a match being played over 12 holes at the Wynn Golf Club. Since its inception, with Phil beating Tiger, over $33 million has been raised and 17 million meals have gone to Feeding America.

The format is modified alternate shot. Each player will hit a drive, then each team will alternate shots from the drive they select. If the NFC plays Brady’s drive, then Rodgers hits the second shot. They then alternate until the ball is holed.

If you suffered through the most recent incantation of The Match – Brooks Koepka’s boring beatdown of Bryson DeChambeau last November – you have some insight into why organizers were desperate for entertainment. This QB confrontation may not be dazzling from a pure golf standpoint but rest assured it will be competitive and cutthroat.

There will be the occasional spectacular shot as well as some booming drives. Make no mistake about it, most quarterbacks can play reasonably good golf. Look no farther than Tony Romo. John Brodie played on the Senior PGA Tour for years. Peyton and Eli have game.

Hand-eye coordination, athleticism and the ability to generate serious clubhead speed make many QBs naturals when it comes to golf. Don’t be too surprised at anything you see today.

CHIP SHOTS: 5 Under Golf Center CEO Austin Williams wants to remind all junior golfers that the 2022 Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour is set to launch an eight tournament June-July schedule with one of its two 36-hole events.

Set for next Monday and Tuesday at Bayou Din is the YMBL Championship. Players and their parents should go to www.stpgajuniorgolf.com to get information about how to sign up and what the entry fees are. There will be competition for a Junior Tour, Junior Links Tour and a Little Linksters Tour.

Also on the June schedule are stops at Henry Homberg (June 14), Wildwood Golf Club (June 20), Beaumont Country Club (June 27) and the Country Club of Texas (June 28). July tourneys are set for Babe Zaharias (July 5), Idlywild GC (July 11-12) and Sunset Grove (July 18).

Congratulations are in order for Mitch Duncan and Babe Zaharias. The club’s head pro received a plaque last week from Mizuno recognizing it as one of the brand’s top fitters for 2021. Criteria involve an increase in business and support for Mizuno in the past year, and being one of the top fitters in a designated area.

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Ron LaSalle, Dwayne Morvant, Troy Touchet and George Adams won the front with minus 2. There was a tie on the back at minus 1 between the team of Aubrey Ward, Bill Hanley, Harrell Guidry and Tom Harding and the foursome of Kenny Robbins, Gene Jones, Rick Pritchett and Dan Flood.

Closest to the pin winners were Don MacNeil (No. 2, 9 feet, 1 inch), Dwayne Benoit (No. 7, 2-6), Steve Wisenbaker (No. 12, 2-7) and Keith Mullins (No. 15, 2-1).

The Friday Senior 2 ball saw the team of Craig Geoffroy, Doug LeBlanc, MacNeil and Benoit score a sweep. They were minus 2 on the front and minus 4 on the back. Closest to the pin winners were Jim Cady (No. 2), LeBlanc (No. 7), Bob Byerly (No. 12) and Cap Hollier (No. 15).

There was also a sweep in the Thursday 2 ball. The foursome of Randy Monk, Cesar Chavez, Chris Koch and Guidry won the front with minus 4 and the back with even.

Golf news should be e-mailed to rdwest@usa.net.