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AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

In Pebble Beach's Battle of the QBs, Bills' Josh Allen wins the day and won't let Tom Brady forget it

February 02, 2024
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Tom Brady and Josh Allen played together in the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Ezra Shaw

PEBBLE BEACH — Not that Josh Allen is counting, but, clearly, he is when his first remarks after the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were in reference to beating former NFL quarterback Tom Brady. And then he got a chance to troll rival QB Aaron Rodgers.

It was a banner afternoon for stirring things up along Stillwater Cove.

“I think that’s the first time I’ve beat him [Brady] in anything,” the Buffalo Bills quarterback said with a wide smile. “Yeah, I wish it was on the football field, but I will take it. It feels real good.”

Allen, 27, and Brady, 46, who retired from the NFL in 2023 after being a member of seven Super Bowl champions, were paired together for the revamped two-round competition at Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach Golf Links. Allen partnered again with Keith Mitchell, while Brady drew longtime New England Patriots fan Keegan Bradley, the former PGA champion.

Allen and Mitchell combined for a 61 on Friday at Pebble Beach to finish T-6 at 14-under 130. The Brady-Bradley team ended up two strokes back. Allen, who figured he helped Mitchell for maybe five holes, proudly declared that he won a bet between the two QBs but declined to reveal the stakes—though they weren’t monetary. (Like they couldn’t afford two-dollar Nassau. Or more.)

“It's something cool. It's something you can put in your house,” was all Allen would say, grinning mischievously.

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Carmen Mandato

The "victory" also avenged a loss in 2022 in The Match, when Brady and Rodgers edged Allen and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Allen wasn't too thrilled with his contribution but cut himself some slack. “I had a few pars when I popped. I didn't play up to my best, I don't think, but I give myself some grace,” he added. “I haven't played in about five or six months.”

Allen and the Bills lost a heartbreaker at home to Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional playoff round, so he was able to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the second year in a row.

Rory McIlroy and Jeff Rhodes, a nine-handicapper who serves as co-managing partner of TPG Capital, won the pro-am title at 17-under 127 despite McIlroy coming in with a 36-hole total of one-over 145.

Which brings us to Allen's second scoring drive of the day. As he was nearing the end of his chat with reporters, Allen spied Rodgers ambling by after completing his round with Beau Hossler. “Hey, Aaron, thumbs up, buddy. You're No. 1,” Allen shouted.

Rodgers, who missed his entire first season with the New York Jets with a torn Achilles tendon, obliged without looking up.

“Thank you,” Allen shouted. Then he said to reporters, “I love that guy.”

Rodgers won last year’s pro-am with Ben Silverman, and Allen jokingly questioned whether or not his fellow quarterback, then a member of the Green Bay Packers, was given too many strokes. But then in August, Allen followed up with stronger sentiments. “I love Aaron, but he [cheated]. He sandbagged not just me, but the world. He may have gotten seven or eight strokes too many, or nine.”

The controversy obviously has blown over as the two men chatted behind the 18th green at Pebble Beach after Allen wrapped up his interview. But before that, he did wonder if this time he finished ahead of Rodgers in the standings. Turns out he did. By one stroke. When he found out, he broke into a huge smile.

Not that he was counting.