In the first-of-its-kind event hosted by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, a squad of NFL players proved their superiority on the golf course against NBA players in the State Farm Showdown.
The teams competed in a 27-hole winner-take-all, Ryder Cup-format event at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club with the victorious side sending their share of the winnings to a charity of their choosing. Nine points was the magic number needed to win.
Chris Paul @CP3
S/O to all the guys that took time to come throw down in the #StateFarmShowdown!! On TNT at 8PM ET tonight! @AaronRodgers12 @LarryFitzgerald @DeronWilliams @ReggieBush @P2 @KyleKorver @MichaelFinley @mconley11 @JoshScobee10 @AThielen19 @TheRealJRSmith @HARPER04_5 @DrewBut13r https://t.co/rkWZTCFalF
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald secured the match for the NFL side by knocking off Ron Harper.
There were other charitable incentives available to players. They could earn $500 for every birdie and $1,000 for every eagle.
Rodgers' team held a 5-3 edge heading into the match-play portion of the event. Eight head-to-head matches featuring 16 players determined which sport would earn bragging rights.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was the first player to win a singles match, defeating Deron Williams 2 and 1. That gave Rodgers' squad a 6-3 overall lead in the standings.
It's too bad for Rodgers' side they didn't choose a shooting contest to settle things because the former NFL MVP showed off good range with a basketball in his hands:
Both teams also showcased their skills in three different sports during the putt, pass and swish competition:
The real highlight of the event, though, was the Chuck Challenge. It was a competition to determine which athlete was able to replicate Charles Barkley's infamous golf swing the best:
While there were plenty of fun and games to be had throughout the event, Rodgers and Paul are among the most competitive athletes in the world. That drive to be the best has made them legends in their respective sports.
"Competitiveness is essential in our respective sports and I look forward to competing alongside and against the best athletes while raising money for charity," Paul told PGATour.com in June when the State Farm Showdown was announced.
Rodgers' squad took an 8-4 lead when Adam Thielen's birdie on No. 17 gave him a win over Michael Finley.
Despite appearing to be in control, the NFL squad had to sweat things out late. The NBA team won three straight points thanks to victories by Paul, Ray Allen and Mike Conley.
Fitzgerald didn't let the pressure get to him, sealing the 9-7 win for Team Rodgers and bragging rights over the NBA.