Woods and McIlroy to clash in new format next month - GulfToday

Woods and McIlroy to clash in new format next month


Tiger Woods relishes the challenge of the new format set to take place in Japan next month.

LONDON: Tiger Woods will clash with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama in a high-stakes, globally televised golf challenge in Japan next month.

The four will go toe-to-toe in an extravaganza featuring special in-match challenges and surprises, floodlit finishes with holes assigned increasing monetary value.

The event, called ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins’ will tee off on Oct.21 at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, and will be played under the “skins” format.

The format, designed to encourage aggressive play from start to finish, forces players to win a hole outright to take a “skin”, with tied holes resulting in a “push” of the skin to the next hole.

“After discussing The Challenge with Discovery and GOLFTV, I wanted to be a part of it,” 15-times golf major champion Woods said.

“I haven’t been back to Japan since 2006 and the golf fans there are some of the best in the world. It’s a unique format and a top field with Rory, Jason and Hideki. I can’t wait to play against them on a global stage.”

Matsuyama hopes local support might give him an edge, while Day says the winner will be the player who best executes an aggressive strategy on every hole.

McIlroy is eager to embrace a format he says he loves.

“There are so many fun elements to The Challenge that will have me wanting to take home that title – playing with Hideki on his home turf; Tiger coming back to Japan with a Green Jacket —the motivation is certainly there for me, and I’m a huge fan of the skins format.

“I love the way it rewards attacking play and think it suits my game quite well. Any time I can go directly at pins to try and make birdies and eagles, I think it puts me at an advantage.

Meanwhile, McIlroy made six bogeys and a double bogey in his last 11 holes to shoot 4-over 76 at the BMW PGA Championship, leaving the world No. 2 already 11 strokes off the first-round lead held by Matt Wallace on Thursday.

McIlroy’s round fell apart after an eagle at No. 4 followed by a birdie at No. 5, as he shot 42 in his back nine in glorious conditions at Wentworth.

One over for his round arriving at the 17th tee, he pulled his drive and wound up making a double-bogey 7. Another wayward drive led to a bogey at the 18th and he didn’t talk to reporters after his round.


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