GREEN BAY, Wis. – Either Aaron Rodgers is truly conflicted about returning to the Green Bay Packers or he’s enjoying playing games with the start of training camp three weeks away.
Playing in The Match, a made-for-TV golf event featuring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and PGA Tour stars Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, Rodgers fielded questions about his football future while driving his golf cart between holes.
Asked by TNT’s Brian Anderson whether he would be starting for the Packers on Sept. 12, Rodgers pretended to not know the significance of the date.
“What’s that one?” Rodgers said.
Reminded it was the date of the season-opening game at the New Orleans Saints, Rodgers said: “I don’t know, BA, we’ll see.”
Up next, it was longtime Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who said “everybody” wanted to know Rodgers’ decision.
“I’m just having a good time out here with Tom,” said Rodgers, who a day earlier said he used the offseason to focus on mental health.
Finally, it was basketball legend and longtime NBA commentator Charles Barkley’s turn to get nowhere with the smiling and evasive Rodgers.
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“Charles, I’ll tell you this week in Tahoe,” Rodgers said.
The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship begins Friday. The 80-player field represents 16 Hall of Famers, 13 Most Valuable Players and 15 Cy Young winners. Two-time winner Tony Romo, Rodgers, Barkley and Patrick Mahomes are among the headliners.
As for The Match, Rodgers and DeChambeau were favorites and performed as such, thanks in part to high-quality play by the reigning NFL MVP. From No. 4 through No. 10, the team used Rodgers' tee shot six times.
On one of the charity holes, the par-5 sixth, Rodgers outdrove Brady. That meant a $200,000 donation to the North Valley Community Foundation. That was Rodgers’ charity for his guest-hosting run on Jeopardy. Rodgers sank a short birdie putt on the 10th hole to put his team in front. Then, his birdie putt put his team up by three holes through 12. Next, he made a hole-splitting par putt on No. 14. On that hole, the players had to pick one club and stick with it throughout the hole. So, Rodgers made the putt with his 3-wood.
Rodgers hit the match-clinching birdie putt on the par-3 16th. DeChambeau hit his tee shot to about 12 feet, with Rodgers burying the putt to win 3 and 2.
"He was making everything today," DeChambeau said of Rodgers' work on the green.
So, Rodgers beat Brady on the golf course. Will he return to the Packers in an attempt to avenge Brady's victory in the NFC Championship Game? Veterans are scheduled to report for the start of training camp on July 27. The first practice is set for July 28.