Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will go head-to-head in a two-man exhibition for the second time in China following last year’s outlandish Duel at Jinsha Lake, organizers said yesterday.
Golf’s world No. 1 and No. 2 are to appear at an as yet unnamed venue on Oct. 28, reprising their one-day meeting a year earlier which became infamous for its unruly crowds and gratuitous displays of wealth.
“Rory and I have played against and with each other a lot over the past few years and he beat me in China last time, so I’m looking forward to playing again,” Woods said in a press release.
“We’re good friends, but both of us love to win, so I’m expecting more great golf,” the 14-time major winner said.
“I’ve played in China since 2001 and the event last year showed me there’s still huge enthusiasm for growing the game in cities all across the country, especially as it’s again an Olympic sport in 2016,” Woods added.
McIlroy won last year’s event in Zhengzhou, but it is remembered mainly for the behavior of fans who stole balls from the driving range and were rugby-tackled by staff as they mobbed the players on the fairways.
The 18-hole strokeplay tournament, held to advertise a new housing development, also featured the bizarre sight of models standing at the tee boxes, helicopters, drum majorettes, fireworks and a luxury yacht.
Few details were revealed about the upcoming event, but McIlroy said he was looking forward to taking Woods on again.
“It’s exciting to play against Tiger in this format. We’ve played together many times in regular four-day Tour events, but it’s different when it’s just the two of us in an 18-hole battle,” said McIlroy, 24. “Everyone knows he’s hugely competitive each time he steps on the golf course, so I know he’ll want to beat me, just as I’ll be very keen to beat him again.”
“The crowds we had last year were incredible. I had never seen so many people following one match and I’m sure we’ll have more of the same this year. The support is testimony to the growing strength of golf in China and I’m looking forward to getting back there,” McIlroy said.
Event organizer Infinite Ideas International said several leading Chinese golf clubs were interested in holding this year’s show and the venue will be announced soon.