Everything you need to know about The Match, featuring Brady vs. Rodgers
Recent PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson and 2021 Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady will team up for the fourth installment of The Match, the popular made-for-TV golf event, set for Tuesday, July 6, in Big Sky, Montana.
In 2020, Mickelson and Brady paired up to challenge Tiger Woods and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning for The Match: Champions for Charity, which took place Memorial Day Weekend and offered some of the only live sports action in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This time around, 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and three-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will make up the other pairing in The Match IV.
With so many juicy storylines surrounding these four players — including Rodgers' future in the NFL, Brady and Mickelson's recent success in old age, and DeChambeau's fiery rivalry with Brooks Koepka — the latest iteration of The Match should be the most enthralling of the series.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of this anticipated charity match, sure to be chock-full of trash talk.
What is the format for The Match?
The Match will employ a modified alternate-shot format, similar to the past two editions.
Mickelson won the inaugural event, which was a head-to-head match-play competition against Woods. "Lefty" beat the 15-time major champion in a 22-hole playoff at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas and collected a $9 million purse.
Last spring, the pro-am, four-ball format of The Match commenced. Brady and Mickelson surged from behind, only to lose out to Woods and Manning on the 18th hole.
In November, Charles Barkley stepped in for Brady to join forces with Mickelson. The duo defeated the team of Stephen Curry and Manning in The Match: Champions for Change, at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona.
How good are Brady and Rodgers at golf?
According to Golf.com, Brady has an official handicap of 8.1, compared to Rodgers' 4.6.
In his first appearance in The Match, the seven-time Super Bowl winner struggled to hit the ball straight through the first six holes. Then, on the par 5 seventh, he sunk an incredible birdie shot from 150 yards out, but was quickly humbled by a wardrobe malfunction that required a change of pants.
Not only will Brady get a chance to redeem himself for that mishap — and his loss in the match — but he will also get a rematch on the course with Rodgers next week.
The two met once before to play nine holes at Riviera Country Club, where Rodgers knocked in a long putt on the final hole to win.
Later this month, Rodgers will also play in the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament where he placed 16th last year. He also finished ninth at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, alongside pro golfer Max Homa.
What is the Reserve at Moonlight Basin known for?
Home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in golf, the Reserve at Moonlight Basin is located on the northwest side of Montana’s Lone Park, at 7,500 feet above sea level.
A number of friends heading to Big Sky, Montana wanting some pics of The Reserve at Moonlight Basin. To be at @MoonlightBasin is the equivalent to being on a golf course in a National Park, The scale & beauty of this place is extraordinary. #montana @NicklausCo #golfcoursephotos pic.twitter.com/gYN0fab90G— Evan Schiller (@Evan_Schiller) July 9, 2020
The Jack Nicklaus design was opened in 2016 and stretches to 8,000 yards, with a variety of elevation changes throughout.
The signature par-5, 777-yard 17th is easier than sounds, because of its significant drop in elevation from tee to green, which gives added hang time for your driver.
Mickelson and DeChambeau are both known for their power off the tee and are expected to launch some jaw-dropping missiles at this mountain layout.
Who is the best trash talker in The Match?
The quest to outdrive one another will be put on full display at The Match, as DeChambeau alluded to in a recent interview.
Ranked No. 1 on the PGA Tour in average distance off the tee, DeChambeau assured he would outshine the 51-year-old Mickelson with his driver.
“Phil outdrive me at The Match? There is no way. ... I’m coming out with the long driver, and I’ll have the spin rate dialed in, and there’s no chance he’ll ever get close to my ball speed,” DeChambeau told Golfweek.
As for the short game, Brady believes he can carry his team with his putter and displayed his hot flat stick on social media, with some trash talk toward Rodgers and DeChambeau.
No one has been more vocal on social media ahead of The Match than the 43-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback.
Brady has poked fun at Rodgers, because of the Green Bay Packers' costly decision to kick a field goal late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game against the Bucs.
His best jab may be his home-made memes that not only promote The Match, but touch on DeChambeau and Koepka's current feud on the PGA Tour.
Koepka has chimed in on occasion to rag on DeChambeau and sent his condolences to Rodgers for having to play with the polarizing figure.
How do I watch The Match?
One more person who will undoubtedly jump in on the trash talk is Barkley, who will work with Cheyenne Woods and 11-time NFL All-Star Larry Fitzgerald as part of the Turner Sports broadcast team for The Match.
The players will be mic'd up and able to communicate with each other and the broadcast booth.
Live coverage of the event, which benefits Feeding America and other charities, will begin Tuesday, July 6 at 5 p.m. ET, on TNT.