PGA Tour and NFL Mash Up: Pairing Golfers With NFL Teams


In celebration of the NFL season kicking off and the PGA Tour season coming to close this Sunday at East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship I thought it might be fun to match up the 30 remaining golfers with the teams in the NFL. A PGA Tour and NFL mash up, if you will.

We’ll match up the golfers and the teams based on a number of different factors based on the talent, results, personality, etc. It should be fun and when thinking about it and actually doing the list there were a surprising number of golfers and teams where it was a fantastic match.

Also, as an FYI, there are 30 golfers for the Tour Championship, but there are 32 NFL teams. So, two golfers will double up on teams. Also, the rankings are based on the FedEx Cup point standings heading into the Tour Championship. Now, without further ado let’s get to the list.

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1. Chris Kirk: Carolina Panthers – Last year the Carolina Panthers were just sort of skating along winning game after game after game. Eventually, when the dust settled, they were the number two seed in the playoffs. Chris Kirk has just been steady as she goes making the cut, finishing near the top and now finds himself in the pole position heading into the Tour Championship.

2. Billy Horschel: New York Giants– When the New York Giants won their two Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011 they weren’t really the best team for the entire season, but they got hot at the right time. Billy Horschel hasn’t been a top 30 golfer this season, but Horschel has gotten hot in the playoffs and that may very well carry on over to a FedEx Cup championship.

3. Bubba Watson: Philadelphia Eagles/New Orleans Saints – What the Philadelphia Eagles did versus the Jacksonville Jaguars was basically Bubba Watson-esque. The Eagles were supposed to put on a show, run up and down on the Jaguars defense, but the Eagles put up a goose egg for the first half of that game.

Feb 2, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Bubba Watson reacts after playing his approach shot to the 18th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles eventually did pull it off, but going back to last year and their results you have games where they put up less than 10 points one week and then 51 the next week. Very hot and cold, a lot like Bubba.

Now, Bubba Watson being exclusively with the Eagles isn’t fair to Bubba. Bubba has two Masters under his belt while the Eagles haven’t won a Super Bowl in their history. So, we are going to throw in the New Orleans Saints as well. The Saints won their Super Bowl just a few years ago. Plus, they are a very explosive team and Watson did visit their Training Camp.

4. Rory McIlroy: Seattle Seahawks– Rory McIlroy is the best golfer on the planet and the Seattle Seahawks are the best NFL team on the planet…sort of by a technicality because American Football is only played in the United States, but nevertheless. McIlroy is the best and the Seahawks are the best.

5. Hunter Mahan: Chicago Bears – The Chicago Bears have had a lot of talent, but for whatever reason they haven’t been able to put it all together. Same could be said for Mahan. Talented golfer, but hasn’t put it all together consistently.

6. Jimmy Walker: Kansas City Chiefs – Last year the Kansas City Chiefs were the breakout team. For the majority of the season they had the best record in the NFL, but there were always those doubters. Same with Jimmy Walker. He lead the FedEx Cup point standings for the majority of the season, but has had his skeptics.

Now, the Kansas City Chiefs will look to do it again. Heading into next year, Walker is going to have to do it again. Were the Chiefs and Jimmy Walker a fluke? We’ll have to see.

7. Jim Furyk: Pittsburgh Steelers – Jim Furyk is from the Pittsburgh area and is a grinder. Furyk is blue collar, doesn’t bomb it a longways, isn’t the best putter, but always finds a way to win, or at the very least, be near the leaderboard.

Speaking of which, the Steelers almost pulled a full blown Furyk. Steelers were up big on the Cleveland Browns, but nearly blew it. Taking leads into the final round is something Furyk hasn’t had success doing of late. Luckily, for the Steelers, they were able to hold on and win.

8. Matt Kuchar: San Francisco 49ers – Both Matt Kuchar and the San Francisco 49ers have come close over the past couple of years. Kuchar has been right in contention at majors and the 49ers have come close to winning a Super Bowl, but both have yet to get over that final hump.

9. Rickie Fowler: Cincinnati Bengals – This one was easy. Rickie Fowler is all about wearing that orange on Sunday and has found his way to the top of the leaderboard week in and week out. He finished in the top 5 at all four majors this season, coming up just short, but he’s young enough and talented enough to where he may win a major one day. Same could be said for the Cincinnati Bengals who have reached the playoffs the last three years.

10. Jason Day: Atlanta Falcons – Jason Day and the Atlanta Falcons are both talented, but haven’t sealed the deal when they needed too. Plus, this has been a lost season for Day who has been plagued with injuries. Same could be said about the Atlanta Falcons last season who suffered a lot of injuries.

11. Jordan Spieth: Indianapolis ColtsAndrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts turned them around in a hurry making the playoffs in his first two years. Jordan Spieth broke out onto the scene last year and has just been rolling along. Spieth came close to winning The Masters this year and the consensus is that Spieth will someday win a few majors and Luck will win a Super Bowl.

12. Adam Scott: New England Patriots – This was a tricky one. But, of all the golfers that made the top 30 this year, Scott aligns with the New England Patriots more than anybody else.

Ideally, Tiger Woods would be the New England Patriots. That’s much more of a fit. Both of their salad days come a decade plus ago and while both have had their fair share of success, it’s been awhile since they stood atop the mountain.

Aug 28, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

13. Sergio Garcia: Dallas Cowboys – This really isn’t fair to Sergio Garcia given that he’s actually a very good golfer and has had a very good season. The same can’t be said for the Dallas Cowboys.

Although, Garcia, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are some of the more polarizing figures in sports. Plus, It’s been said numerous times that Romo and the Cowboys can’t win the big one and the same has been said about Garcia.

14. Martin Kaymer: Denver Broncos – I originally had the Broncos and Scott matched up, but then I realized the Patriots didn’t have a home. So, the Patriots went over to Scott and nobody really fit the Broncos profile. Low and behold they get matched up with Martin Kaymer.

15. Zach Johnson: Baltimore Ravens – If Furyk is the Pittsburgh Steelers than Zach Johnson has to be the Baltimore Ravens. Two grinders that don’t have the natural talent, but have worked hard and just bring that hardhat and lunch pail mentality.

16. Bill Haas: Miami Dolphins – I don’t think anybody hates Bill Haas or the Miami Dolphins. They just do their thing and every now and again they’ll have a signature win.

17. John Senden: Tennessee Titans – Like Bill Haas, John Senden just flies under the radar, but even more so. I’m not sure if the Tennessee Titans have had a prime time game in five years and I don’t know if the networks show more than 3 shots from Senden.

18. Patrick Reed: New York Jets/St. Louis Rams – I’m rolling with the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams for Patrick Reed because both teams have a lot of attitude. A few years back Rex Ryan would proclaim every year that his team would win the Super Bowl, but they wouldn’t. They came close a couple of times to making the Super Bowl, but they fell short.

It’s a bit like Patrick Reed stating that he was a top 5 golfer because he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship. A very significant and notable victory, but it’s not a major.

19. Cameron Tringale: Jacksonville Jaguars – The majority of the next golfer/NFL team combos get tricky. Tringale is young, talented, doesn’t have a win yet in his PGA Tour career and the Jaguars haven’t won a playoff game this decade.

20. Russell Henley: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Like I said, things start getting tricky, but look at it this way: The Buccaneers are a young team with some talent, Henley is a young golfer with some talent as well. Plus, Henley won The Honda Classic which takes place down in Florida.

21. Morgan Hoffmann: Buffalo Bills – Who expected Morgan Hoffmann to make the playoffs? Probably nobody. Who expects the Buffalo Bills to make the playoffs? Not many people. So, there you go. Plus, Hoffman is from New Jersey which is close to New York, so there you go.

22. Webb Simpson: Minnesota Vikings – When you look at the Minnesota Vikings W-L record over the past few years they’ve been high and low. 2008: 10-6, 2009: 12-4, 2010: 6-10, 2011: 3-13, 2012: 10-6, 2013: 5-10-1. When you look at Webb Simpson’s year he’s been up and down like that as well. 3-MC-T31-MC-T5-MC-T9-T53.

23. Ryan Palmer: Houston Texans – Ryan Palmer is a Texan. That’s about all I got for this one.

24. Kevin Na: Washington Redskins – Here’s a pretty mice match. The Washington Redskins have come under fire over the past couple of years because of their name. Kevin Na is still one of the more controversial golfers because of his style of play. He’s gotten better and faster, but he still ruffles some feathers.

25. Geoff Ogilvy: Oakland Raiders – Geoff Ogilvy last won a major (the U.S. Open) back in 2006. The last time the Oakland Raiders made the playoffs (and made the Super Bowl) was back in 2002. That’s kind of close…I guess. No offense to Ogilvy, but somebody has to be the Raiders.

Jun 16, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA; Justin Rose celebrates with the championship trophy after the final round of the 113th U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

26. Justin Rose: Green Bay Packers – If we were doing golfer/boxer combinations, Justin Rose would be IBF 168 pound Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch. Every time I hear Rose talks he reminds me of Froch. Just the way he goes about his business, his game, his swagger. Very much like The Cobra. But, anyway, yeah, the Green Bay Packers, why not? Packers won a Super Bowl, Rose got himself a U.S. Open championship a year and a half ago.

27. Brendon Todd: San Diego Chargers – The San Diego Chargers quietly made the playoffs last year and actually won a game. Week in and week out Brendon Todd this year was so good and threatened for a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

28. Hideki Matsuyama: Arizona Cardinals – The Arizona Cardinals are a very talented team and are poised for a breakout. Much like Matsuyama just about all the pieces are in place for something big to happen.

29. Gary Woodland: Detroit Lions – Gary Woodland is fun to watch as he bombs it 300+ yards off the tee and the Detroit Lions feature the air raid attack with Matthew Stafford throwing it up to Calvin Johnson. Plus, the Lions have other weapons: Reggie Bush, Golden Tate is on the team now, rookie Eric Ebron it should be a fun team to watch and Woodland is fun too watch.

30. Dustin Johnson: Cleveland Browns – Dustin Johnson had such a great year that he still made the top 30 even without playing in a tournament since late July. That’s pretty impressive.

Nevertheless, Johnson has 0% chance of winning the FedEx Cup Championship and what NFL team is least likely to win the Super Bowl this year? Probably the Cleveland Browns.