Super Bowl champions Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes have had plenty to celebrate in recent months, and that showed no signs of slowing down on Thursday when they thrashed Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the golf course in Las Vegas.
The superstar quartet took to the course at the Wynn for the eighth instalment of ‘The Match’ in a huge NFL vs NBA showdown, with four of the biggest names in American sport on show.
And it was the NFL that came out on top, with Kelce showing off some incredible talent on a very different stage to help he and Chiefs teammate Mahomes win 3&2 over their NBA rivals at The Wynn.
Heading onto the first tee, the Golden State Warriors pair Curry and Thompson were big favorites with the bookies, in part due to the former’s incredible golf ability.
Before play began, Draymond Green told TNT’s television coverage: ‘Steph Curry is, like, professional-level golfer.’
Steph Curry (right) came out on the losing team against Travis Kelce (left) and Patrick Mahomes in Las Vegas on Thursday
Mahomes – quarterback for the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs – is also very capable when handed a golf club
Curry (pictured), who was partnered with Klay Thompson, putts in front of a crowd at The Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas
Kelce was flying from the very first shot as he ripped his initial drive straight down the middle of the fairway on the first hole
But it was Kelce who drew the biggest cheers from the crowd on the first tee, as he smashed his drive straight down the middle – much further than Curry’s effort shortly after.
The two teams shared the spoils on the first hole of the 12-hole competition, but the Chiefs NFL pair quickly took a lead that took no sign of slowing as ‘The Match’ went on.
Incredibly, Kelce and Mahomes were 4 Up through the first six holes, with Kelce in particular showing off an impressive drive and a lovely touch around the greens.
Despite that, Mahomes at one point was very keen to temper expectations as his teammate – on both the NFL field and now the golf course – lined up a shot from the rough.
‘Y’all gotta back up… we’re not pros,’ he shouted at the crowds, who lined the fairways as if they were at a PGA Tour event.
More than a few times, ‘fore’ was the shout from the players, with the fans left ducking for cover at all four players’ wayward shots.
On the seventh hole, Mahomes and Kelce looked set to go 5 Up with five to play, but Thompson had other ideas, draining a putt to keep it at 4, sending NBA free agent Green wild as he celebrated with his fellow basketball stars.
For Green, there was more than just pride at stake in ‘The Match’, given he had earlier revealed a $10,000 charity bet with NFL star Von Miller on which sport would come out victorious.
Mahomes (left) and Curry (right) wowed the crowds with their golf ability – and their humor – during the 12-hole match-up
Curry plays out of a bunker during The Match, but despite his talent the NBA pairing was never close to taking the lead
All four players – some of the most talented in American sports history – pose for photos prior to the 12-hole match in Vegas
The players were all mic’d up throughout the day so that they could be interviewed by the likes of Charles Barkley on live TV
On the eighth hole, both teams were tasked with a nearest-the-pin competition, with $2million on offer if anyone could secure a hole-in-one. Though neither did, one million meals were promised to No Kid Hungry, a charity started with the goal of ending child hunger in America.
On the green, the NBA pair managed to keep clinging on to the competition, as both Kelce and Mahomes missed birdie putts to win The Match… much to the delight of Green.
And then, on the ninth, a sniff of a comeback as the NFL pair missed another two putts, this time to gift the hole to their NBA rivals, leading to Curry running back to his golf cart, eager to get to the 10th tee to continue their streak of winning holes.
Moments later though, there was no such luck for the NBA pair on the 10th. Green had earlier joked that he’s ‘hoping for a new contract in a couple of days’, and he may need it to top up his bank balance – because the bet with Miller was lost when Kelce holed out from close range to seal another big win for these two champion Chiefs.
Kelce (right) and Mahomes are used to winning and that continued in Vegas as they added The Match to the Super Bowl
Mahomes plays a tricky shot from the rough, as The Wynn looms in the background and hundreds of fans watch on
Mahomes reacts after hitting one of his tee shots during the scramble at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada
Kelce was perhaps the most surprising player as he showed off his talents, when most expected Curry to flourish
Despite The Match being over, the fans who had turned out in force in Vegas were treated to the final two holes, with the party atmosphere in full force as Kelce chugged beers and all four players signed autographs for young supporters watching on.
This was the eighth iteration of ‘The Match’, but the first time two different sports – not including golf – had taken part in a showdown.
The competition began in 2018 with Tiger vs Phil, as Woods took on Mickelson for a $9million purse. The rematch two years later – in the middle of the Covid pandemic – saw the same players joined by amateur partners, as Peyton Manning joined Woods to hold off Mickelson and his partner Tom Brady.
In November 2020, Mickelson and Charles Barkley beat Manning and Steph Curry, before the fourth edition of the tournament saw Mickelson and Brady against Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau.
Draymond Green (pictured interviewing the players before play began) lost a $10,000 bet with NFL star Von Miller
Curry and Thompson talk tactics on the driving range before the tournament, but it did little to help their fortunes
Curry was described by Green as ‘a professional-level golfer’ before the tournament, but he came out on the losing side
The winners – Kelce and Mahomes – were gifted Tiffany bracelets on the 12th green to celebrate their win over the NBA stars
DeChambeau was back a year later in 2021 for a genuine grudge match against Brooks Koepka, as an average of 1.2million viewers saw the latter win on the ninth hole.
2022 was the first time no golfers were involved, as an all-NFL battle saw Brady and Rodgers beating Josh Allen and Mahomes to see the old guard win out against their younger quarterback rivals.
The Match VII was a prime-time event in December 2022 as Woods and Rory McIlroy took on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in Bel Air, with the latter winning 3 and 2 in the 12-hole event.
Although the golf on show may not have been quite up to the standard of some of the previous years, this NBA vs NFL battle provided a remarkable impact for charity, with over $35million raised.