Who Won The NFL vs Soccer Face-Off At The Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

Aaron Rodgers and Gareth Bale were two of the biggest celebrity names at Pebble Beach, but who came out on top?

Side-by-side images of Aaron Rodgers and Gareth Bale
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am didn’t get a traditional Sunday finish this year due to strong winds causing delays, but a trophy was still awarded at the end of the weekend. That’s because, even though the pro side of the tournament ran over until Monday, the pro-am portion finished after 54 holes the day before.

As usual, that included many celebrities, including regulars Bill Murray and Ray Romano. However, this year, two of the biggest names were Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and recently retired footballer Gareth Bale.

There has been speculation about Bale’s next career move, with one betting industry expert producing odds of just 5/1 that he will become a golf pro. Not only that, but his appearance in the pro-am before the recent Farmers Insurance Open prompted World No.3 Jon Rahm to say: “He has no business being that good at golf.” It didn’t take long for Bale to impress last week, either. During the first round at Spyglass Hill, he produced a stunning cart path chip shot as he and Joseph Bramlett finished with a 65. 

Despite those heroics, though, it was Rodgers who ultimately stole the show. Playing with a handicap of 10, the 39-year-old, alongside Ben Silverman, finished on 26 under for the week to claim victory - an achievement he was delighted with. He said: “It’s really significant. It’s always been on my bucket list. I played in Tahoe for 18 years and never sniffed higher than like eighth. But I felt good about the partnership this week. Ben’s such a great guy, I knew we were going to have fun. Then we put together a couple good rounds. The first two, today especially the last 10 holes, I was in my pocket and my partner picked it up.”

As for Bale, he didn’t do so badly either. He finished in a creditable tie for 16th on 15 under. As well as that audacious chip during the first round, the former Real Madrid star - playing with a handicap of just 2 - also holed a monster putt on the 13th during his final round to highlight just how much talent he has.

After finishing, Bale explained that his foray into golf over recent weeks had been hugely enjoyable - even if the hype might have affected him slightly. He said: “The last couple of weeks have been amazing. People giving me compliments on my game is incredible, they have put a bit too much pressure on my shoulders!”

Bale was also full of praise for Bramlett. He said: “I am a big golf fan and appreciate what these players do on the golf course. It is great to play with them, interact and watch what they do. Just watching him [Bramlett] strike a ball is just something else. The power, the touch. He has been incredible, and he is an even better guy, which is more important. I couldn't have asked for a better partner."

Bale is also in the enviable position of being able to work on his game at home. He explained: "At my house in Wales, I have a replica of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon and the 12th at Augusta, minus the water as it is a bit close to the house!"

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.