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‘The Match’ draws Town Center crowd

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Aaron Rodgers, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at The Match on July 6. PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES VIA TURNER SPORTS

The annual charity event raised millions for national and local nonprofits

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers took a 3 and 2 win against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at The Match on July 6 at Moonlight Basin’s The Reserve Golf Course. Down in Big Sky Town Center, fans gathered for a community watch party, the competition streaming live from the TNT broadcast on a big screen and family-friendly activities available, including a mini golf course and bouncy castle.

“I’m not a huge golfer but it’s so cool to see it here in our little town on national and worldwide TV,” said Lee Horning, sales associate at Big Sky Real Estate Co. who was among those in Town Center. “The course looks awesome, I just saw some wildlife out there, and I think it’s cool for our little community to be exposed like this and to get national attention for this event. I hope the community appreciates it and enjoys it.”

Spectators could celebrate from afar in Big Sky Town Center including a big screen broadcast, a bouncy house and mini golf. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

Michelle Horning, sales associate at Big Sky Real Estate Co., added that the event was a nice opportunity to showcase the amenities Big Sky has to offer. “Even though we’re small [it’s great] what incredible facilities we have in this town,” she said.

The charity event brought in 6.3 million meals for Feeding America and the Montana Food Bank, and $2.6 million for My Brother’s Keeper, a nonprofit launched by former President Barack Obama that closes opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. An additional $500,000 was donated to the individual players’ foundations. At the watch party, the Big Sky community Food Bank was able to raise about $3,000.

“We are very proud to have had this opportunity to host The Match at Moonlight Basin this summer, and to show the world how special Big Sky is, as a community and a destination,” said Matt Kidd, managing director of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, Moonlight Basin’s owner. “Raising over $3 million to fight hunger locally and nationally, made the day even better. We look forward to being a part of more community events like this in the future.”

Now in its fourth version, The Match was a series that began with Tiger Woods and Mickelson that eventually expanded to include Steph Curry, Charles Barkley, Peyton Manning and Brady. Golfers played a modified alternate shot format and the groups traded shots throughout the course. True to any Big Sky event, the occasional resident black bear and coyote wandered on-screen, making it a true Montana experience for all viewers.

“It’s very nice that they’re making it a community event,” said Caitlin Tamposi, who came down to watch the big screen in Town Center with her coworker, Todd Rossier.

As the afternoon wore on and the game came to a close, the energy at Town Center grew, as did the anticipation for the event’s conclusion.

“It was super special to have an event to this scale here [and] to put Moonlight on the big screen,” said Mike Wilcynski, general manager at Moonlight Basin. “It was a very meaningful event, we had a blast and we had a lot of fun in putting it on.”

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