Any chance of the Green Bay Packers lifting the Super Bowl this Sunday were dashed long ago, but Aaron Rodgers is still ending the season as a champion.
Playing alongside Canadian pro golf partner Ben Silverman, the quarterback won the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, the duo carding 26-under to clinch a one-shot victory over American golfer Peter Malnati and former FedEx President and CEO Don Colleran.
It sees the 39-year-old Rodgers, who confessed he hadn’t played any golf until Monday since last season’s NFL training camp began, add his name to Pebble Beach’s Wall of Champions.
“It’s really significant, it’s always been on my bucket list,” Rodgers told reporters.
“This is a pretty big deal for me, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s a great week by itself, spending time with Ben, but winning is the sweetest.”
The pair were crowned victors after 54 holes as heavy winds and rain bombarded the California event, shortening the amateur event to three rounds. The pro tournament, led by England’s Justin Rose, is set to resume Monday.
Despite disappointment on the gridiron as the Packers missed out on the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2018, Rodgers has enjoyed a stellar year on the fairways. In June, Rodgers and fellow veteran Tom Brady were crowned victors in an all-NFL quarterback, trash-talk heavy edition of The Match, besting young duo Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.
And as Buffalo Bills star Allen, playing with Keith Mitchell, finished four strokes behind Rodgers in California, the friendly rivalry showed no signs of abating.
“Josh Allen was telling me there’s going to be an asterisk by this win because there was only three rounds,” Rodgers told reporters.
“But I think that name, our names are going to be up there [on the Wall of Champions] for a long time.”
Speculation has swirled as to where the Packers quarterback will be plying his trade next season, with talk of a departure from the only NFL team he has ever played for fueled by a tweet from Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver – and former teammate – Davante Adams last week.
Asked in a Twitter Q&A which neighborhood Rodgers would be moving to, Adams, who played with the four-time MVP for seven years until his departure in 2021, replied: “Mine.”
Those rumors followed Rodgers around the fairways at Pebble Beach, with social media footage showing some spectators singing ‘Raiders’ chants at the quarterback as he walked to the next hole. A wry smile from the Super Bowl XLV winner in return suggested it was taken in good humor, a welcome change from the reception he had endured at the Pro-Am in previous years.
“One year, we got knocked out by the [San Francisco 49ers] in the playoffs, and I came and played and the fans were real rough. There was a lot of trash talking,” Rodgers recalled.
“Not this year, it was all positive. It was all, ‘Come to the Raiders, come to the Niners, come to the [Dallas] Cowboys.’ A couple [New York] Jets calls out there.
“But a lot of Raiders presence, for sure. You hear that Raiders chant for the last four days … Ben did, for sure.”
Meanwhile, recently retired footballer Gareth Bale finished joint-16th alongside partner Joseph Bramlett.
The former Real Madrid and Tottenham star won many plaudits with a strong first round, highlighted by a spectacular shot from the cart path.
“The last couple of weeks have been amazing,” Bale told reporters.
“People giving me compliments on my game is incredible, they have put a bit too much pressure on my shoulders.
“I am a big golf fan and appreciate what these players do on the golf course. It is great to play with them, interact and watch what they do.”
Rose leads the pro event by two strokes ahead of American trio Malnati, Denny McCarthy and Brendon Todd. The 2013 US Open champion and 10-time PGA Tour winner is chasing his first victory since winning at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2019.
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