Shawn O’Brate

LAS VEGAS – Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years there is a superstar in the NFL ranks that has helped put the University of Wyoming back on the map in the football world. That man is quarterback Josh Allen who has also brought the Buffalo Bills back from extinction over the past four years, leading them to an AFC championship game two seasons ago.

But during the Bills’ offseason this year, which has been filled with huge moments like signing 2x-Super Bowl winning linebacker Von Miller and drafting University of Georgia running back James Cook in the 2022 NFL Draft, the all-star quarterback from Wyoming has been invited to one of the most pivotal, popular events that has evolved over the past four years.

“The Match” is a television golf event that originally started back in November of 2018 with PGA icons Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson facing off, starting a tradition that has held up over the years even without the two involved. The two mult-major winners played against each other for $9 million with Mickelson winning after 22 holes and was originally supposed to be marketed as pay-per-view but with the over-the-top event being a highlight of an otherwise boring part of the year it eventually was streamed for free.

The second year was even bigger, marking the first pro-am format of The Match where Woods and Mickelson were paired with two Super Bowl winning QBs: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Woods and Manning were paired together and beat a late comeback from Mickelson and Brady, ending with the former Colts and Broncos QB hoisting the trophy with his 15x-major winning teammate.

Then it got even larger the third year, pairing Mickelson with NBA hall-of-famer Charles Barkely and pitting them against Manning and NBA superstar Stephen Curry, eventually leaving Mickelson with his second win in three years.

And last year Mickelson brought back Brady to compete against Green Bay Packers polarizing QB Aaron Rodgers who was golfing alongside loudmouth golfer Bryson DeChambeau in Big Sky, Montana. DeChambeau and Rodgers ended up winning the match three to two.

So now we have arrived at the first edition of The Match with absolutely no golf pros participating. Instead, the former Wyoming QB will be paired with the only AFC quarterback to beat his Bills over the past two NFL playoffs: Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, a Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP. 

Allen and Mahomes will be going up against two veterans of The Match, Brady and Rodgers, and will be facing off against them at the beautiful Wynn Golf Course in Las Vegas. The par-70 course was also the home course of the fifth version of “The Match” where DeChambeau and his PGA rival Brooks Koepka faced off in November of last year. 

The now-momentous event that has blossomed to this celebrity pro-am level has raised over $33 million for charity since it’s induction four years ago but with this being the first year without a professional golfer in the mix it will have to be seen whether or not “The Match” can thrive like it has in the past.

Whether or not it does so Allen and Mahomes being paired together after an instant-classic playoff game last season will be extremely fun television. That playoff game where Mahomes and the 2020 Super Bowl champion Chiefs traveled down the field on Allen’s defense in thirteen-seconds to tie the game they would eventually win in overtime has spawned new overtime rules and sparked an even bigger fire under the Buffalo Bills and their titular quarterback.

Allen has had all eyes on him on a golf course before, which does not bother him. Back in February of this year, after losing in the playoffs, Allen competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where he expressed his love for the game:

“If I could golf every day, I would. It’s my favorite thing to do,” Allen said.

Now everyone, including those in Wyoming that saw him play in college, will get to see Allen’s golf game mature right in front of their very eyes when he takes to the green with his AFC rival to go against two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game–both in the NFC–Wednesday, June 1st on TNT starting at 4:30 PM.

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