BOB WEST — The “Match” is back with an NFL vs. NBA twist
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023
It started back in 2018 with Phil Mickelson stalking Tiger Woods in a $9 million winner take all showdown at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, evolved to pairing NFL quarterbacks with Tiger and Phil in golf settings and keeps re-inventing itself while playing off Charles Barkley’s humor.
It, of course, is what masquerades as “The Match”, a made for TV event that seems to appeal to every spectrum of the golf/celebrity crowd for fun, entertainment, trash talking and, on occasion, some interesting golf.
They are going to do it again June 29, with the new wrinkle of NFL Super Bowl stars against NBA dynasty sharpshooters.
This time around TNT will bring you the KC Chiefs dynamic pass-catch combo of Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce against probably the deadliest NBA shooting backcourt of all-time – Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The backdrop will once again be the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, which will be hosting for the third time.
How serious the golf turns out remains to be seen, although the uber-talented Curry is close to a scratch player, and Mahomes is pretty good and getting better. The wild card is Kelce, who recently hosted Saturday Night Live, and is apt to do anything at any time.
Folks who attended the 2015 Port Arthur News Homecoming Roast of Jamaal Charles saw how goofy Kelce can be up close and personal. One of several Chiefs to show up for Jamaal, the Hall of Fame-bound tight end staged an impromptu dance for everyone while sporting a nerdy hat.
This will be the seventh version of The Match and the second time for Mahomes and Curry. Mahomes teamed with Buffalo QB Josh Allen to lose 1 down to Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers in 2022. Curry and Peyton Manning got pummeled by Mickelson and Barkley in 2020.
Among other things, “The Match,” in all its various formats, has been a terrific promotion for the game of golf, the various ways from serious to silly it can be employed in a competitive format and the tremendous vehicle it is for charitable causes.
Every time it seems like “The Match” might be getting a little frayed around the edges, somebody pops up with a new angle to retain old viewers and bring in new ones. Don’t doubt for a moment, as this gets closer, there will be a bit of a buzz due to the NFL vs. NBA angle and the high-profile celebrities participating.
Barkley, naturally, figures to have a field day stirring the pot, especially interacting with Kelce and Mahomes. In the end, it won’t matter who wins – it never has except when Mickelson went 22 holes to snatch the $9 million away from Tiger.
There will, however, be memorable moments that the once stuffy old game of golf could never have envisioned.
CHIP SHOTS: Babe Zaharias was the scene of yet another ace last week when Earl Miller of Port Neches sank his tee shot with a pitching wedge from 110 yards on No. 15. It was Miller’s second hole in one.
Witness to what was the eighth 2023 ace at Zaharias, which matches the total for all of 2022, was Miller’s brother, Jim . . .
Lamar ex MJ Daffue, despite making a quadruple bogey 7 and a double bogey 5 on the 17th hole the first two days, still made the cut in the Wells Fargo Championship. Daffue went on to finish T47 at even par 284 and win $51,222.
The news was not as good for PNG ex Andrew Landry. He missed his fourth consecutive cut on rounds of 76-78. Daffue, Landry and Chris Stroud are all in the field for this week’s Byron Nelson in Dallas . . .
Former LC-M great Jack Burke, a three-time winner of the Babe Zaharias Boys High School Player of the Year award, recently wrapped up his sophomore season at Texas State by finishing T19 in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Burke shot rounds of 72-72-76 for a plus four 220 total over Annadale Golf Club in Madison, Miss . . .
Lamar’s mens’ golf team finished third in the Southland Conference championship last week at the San Antonio Hill Country Resort. LU, which had three players tie for 8th in individual scoring, posted rounds of 290, 292, 296 to finish 20 shots behind Augusta at 14 over par.
Carl Hardin (71-74-73), Hugo Hellman (71-73-74) and Jacob Lindh (72-71-75) all shot 218 for the Cardinals.
Former Dallas Cowboys QB and CBS NFL analyst Tony Romo came up well short in his bid to get through U.S. Open local qualifying last week in Odessa. With four spots available, Romo’s 73 was back in the pack. It would have taken a 69 to advance to the sectional round . . .
In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Ted Freeman, Art Turner, Tom Fenner and Darrell Mouille won the front with minus 2. On the back, the foursome of Bob West, Raymond Darbonne, Harrell Guidry and Keith Marshall prevailed with even.
Closest to the pin winners were West (No. 2, 19-4), Jeff Rinehart (No. 7, 13-11), Ron LaSalle (No. 12, 14-5) and Keith Mullins (No. 15, 2-6) . . .
The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in an all points count format. Winning with 26 was the team of Mike Kibodeaux, Ron Mistrot, Larry Lee and Ernie Cabawgan. Placing second with 25 points was the foursome of James Vercher, Rick Pritchett, Turner and James Johnson.
Closest to the pin winners were Larry Lee (No. 2, 1-6), Gary Whitfill (No. 7, 9-0), Rinehart (No. 12, 4-5) and Dwayne Morvant (No. 15, 1-10) . . .
Golf news should be e-mailed to Bob West at email@example.com.