Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Tiger Woods of the USA during the third round of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on January 28, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
(January 27, 2012 – Source: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Europe)
(PhatzRadio / Golf.com) — On Monday, Tiger Woods formally committed to play in The Barclays. Formally is the operative word here: There was little doubt Woods would head to Bethpage to play the playoff event, which starts Aug. 23.
But, barring any serious changes, that commitment means fans won’t have to wait until the Ryder Cup to see Woods and Rory McIlroy go head to head, according to PGATour.com. As No. 1 (Woods) and No. 2 (McIlroy) in FedEx Cup standings, the pair will play side-by-side during their first two trips around the Black Course in the tournament’s top threesome.
McIlroy vaulted six spots in the FedEx Cup points standings after his eight-shot win in the PGA Championship, locking up a top-three finish in the final standings even though he won’t play this week. The third spot in that group — currently held by Jason Dufner — remains up for grabs, as does the order of finish. But only Carl Pettersson, who, along with Dufner, is in the field this week at the Wyndham Championship, can muscle his way into the marquee group. Petterssen currently trails Dufner by 450 points; the winner of the Wyndham earns 500.
Regardless, Duf or Carl will feel like a third wheel to most fans, and you can expect many fans will make the trip to Long Island to see golf’s two biggest names go shot-for-shot.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy to square off in match play exhibition in China
NEW YORK (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will square off in China this fall in a one-day exhibition.
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.”