Woods, McIlroy to stage duel in China
NEW YORK — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will square off in China this fall in a one-day exhibition.
Woods and McIlroy are to play an 18-hole match at Lake Jinsha International Golf Club on Oct. 29, the Monday after the top two players in the world ranking compete in different Asian tournaments.
Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management, the agent for Woods, says the exhibition has been in the works for a couple of months. He described it as customer entertainment.
The timing could not be better. McIlroy won the PGA Championship on Sunday, boosting comparisons with Woods. They are the only two players to win multiple majors by more than eight shots over the last 35 years. McIlroy won his second major at a slightly younger age than when Woods won the second of his 14 majors.
"I'm sure this gives it a little more pop," Steinberg said. "Rory has moved to No. 1 in the world, and clearly they are the two most recognizable names in golf."
Woods will be playing the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Oct. 25-28, while McIlroy will be competing in the Volvo Masters in Shanghai.
These 18-hole exhibitions are nothing new for Woods, who played David Duval in a Monday night match on network TV in 1999 when they were battling for No. 1 in the world. McIlroy and Woods played together in Abu Dhabi to start the year, and they will be in the same group at The Barclays next week when the FedEx Cup playoffs begin. But unless they are paired in Ryder Cup singles — a blind draw — the "Duel at Lake Jinsha" will be their first time going head-to-head.
"It should be a lot of fun," McIlroy said in a telephone interview with Golf Channel on Wednesday. "First time I've really ever done something like this with Tiger."