Rodgers and DeChambeau celebrate after winning “The Match” on Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY STACEY REVERE

Big swings raise big money

“The Match” raises money both in and out of the community

Tuesday was a big day for Big Sky. Our community received attention from a national audience tuning into “The Match”. The fourth version of Capital One’s “The Match” took place Tuesday, July 6 at The Reserve golf course at Moonlight Basin. The event featured the repeat team of seven-time super champion quarterback Tom Brady and six-time PGA major champion Phil Mickelson up against three-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

There was a significant public interest in this event, including a Big Sky community viewing party. “The Match” viewing party took place in the Big Sky Town Center just outside of the Wilson hotel. The event was sponsored by Moonlight Basin, Big Sky Real Estate and Lone Mountain Land. The viewing party included a number of fun activities for community members to enjoy while catching some of the action from The Reserve. There was a bouncy house and putt putt golf course for kids to use with a donation to the Big Sky Food Bank.

The event also included some exciting prizes for community members. All community members that gave donations to the food bank were entered in a raffle with a chance for a free round at The Reserve with three other friends. The party included a challenge aspect for community members as well. Variable Conditions, a new ski and golf product company in Big Sky provided a fun hole-in-one simulator. If someone did indeed make a hole-in-one in the simulator, they would win a prize of $5,000.

On the golf course, this edition of “The Match” was one of the best yet. The two teams were incredibly competitive, with the lead going back and forth multiple times throughout the round.

Tuesday’s round featured some incredible moments. Right off the bat, DeChambeau chipped in from about 30 yards for birdie on hole one. Hole five saw both pros, DeChambeau and Mickelson put their tee shots within two feet of the hole on the par three. Hole eight, a 777 yard par 5, saw all four golfers hit massive drives, headlined by DeChambeau’s 480 yard shot off the tee box. Throughout the event, in typical Big Sky fashion there was a parade of animals found on or near the course, including a black bear, bull moose and a coyote. When the foursome reached the back nine, they were not as evenly matched. Rodgers helped push him and DeChambeau ahead with made birdie putts on holes 10, 11 and 12. The window was eventually closed by Rodgers after a made birdie putt on hole 16 solidified the win for him and DeChambeau.

Tuesday’s loss keeps the golfing tandem of Mickelson and Brady winless for now. They were unable to live up to the weeks of trash talk before the event. However they were not reluctant to continue to talk trash to one another throughout the round. All four golfers attempted to get in one another's heads to gain any advantage they could. Although they were fierce competitors, all four worked together to raise a significant amount of money for major charities.

The two major organizations featured were Feeding America and My Brother’s Keeper, an organization started by former president Barack Obama to help close the gap in opportunities for young African American workers. The event eventually raised $6.3 million for Feeding America and over $2.6 million for My Brother’s Keeper. Many other organizations had significant donations as well, including donations to three of the golfer's personal charity organizations.

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