Sep
11
2013
Tiger and Rory to play in China cash grab redux
By Stephanie Wei under Rory McIlroy
Blackstone Course at Mission Hills

Blackstone Course at Mission Hills

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will meet again in “The Match at Mission Hills,” an 18-hole exhibition match, on October 28 at the Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in Hainan Island.

Last year, Rory beat Tiger by one shot. Reportedly, Woods received a $2 million appearance fee, while McIlroy took home $1 million.

The best part of the match? The players will be mic’d up. It’ll stream live on YouTube…everywhere except the United States and Canada. 

Here’s the full press release with details and all:

World No. 1 Tiger Woods and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy will battle against each other in ‘The Match at Mission Hills’ on October 28, their second head-to-head 18-hole contest in China.

The event will be held over the acclaimed par-73 Blackstone Course at the 180-hole Mission Hills Resort in Haikou, the capital city of tropical Hainan island off China’s southern coast. The resort features 10 courses by Schmidt-Curley Design.

Opened in 2010, the 7,808-yard Blackstone Course hosted the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in 2011, when McIlroy and Graeme McDowell finished tied fourth for Ireland, and Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland of the USA emerged victorious.

Blackstone also hosted the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am last October and in 2010, and was named ‘Asia’s ‘Best New Course’ by Golf Magazine (US edition) in 2010 and ‘Best Championship Course – Asia Pacific’ at the 2012 Asian Golf Monthly Awards.

This time, Woods and McIlroy, currently World No. 4, will be the star attractions in Haikou. AlthoughWoods is familiar with the Mission Hills Resorts in Shenzhen and Dongguan in Guangdong province, which boast 12 courses between them, The Match at Mission Hills will mark the 14-major winner’s first time in Hainan.

“The Match at Mission Hills should be a great contest in a great setting in Haikou, and I’m excited about playing there for the first time,” said Woods, winner of 79 PGA Tour titles including five this year.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Blackstone, so it should be a great course for the re-match withRory, who I know has played there before in the World Cup. I’ve played at Mission Hills on the mainland, but this will be my first time playing at their Haikou resort so I’m looking ahead to visiting Hainan Island for the first time.”

Woods, 37, admits he’s eager to rebound from his one-stroke defeat to McIlroy in Zhengzhou last October, when the American was ranked World No. 2 behind McIlroy, whose five wins in 2012 included a second major at the PGA Championship.

“I’m hoping to win this time,” Woods said. “We both played well last year, but Rory got me by one. I’ve had a really good year on the PGA Tour, so it would be nice to earn another trophy in China.”

McIlroy, 24, says he’s ready for the challenge of taking on an in-form World No. 1 and the Northern Irishman hopes his experience at Blackstone will give him an edge.

“We had a lot fun last year and I’m expecting the same again this time in Hainan. Tiger has played the better golf this year, but I feel like I’m getting my game back again and I enjoy any challenge, especially against Tiger, so I’m ready for another showdown,” said McIlroy, who shot a bogey-free 67 to win by one last year.

“The crowds last year were amazing and it really makes it special when you can generate that kind of enthusiasm for a two-player match. I’ve enjoyed playing at Blackstone before and hopefully it should give me a bit of an edge having already played the course.”

The Match at Mission Hills is the latest high-profile event to be hosted by the Mission Hills Group, which has hosted over 100 international tournaments and has been at the forefront of developing golf in China since staging the World Cup of Golf in 1995.

Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group, said: “Mission Hills has always been devoted to promoting international exchange and goodwill through golf. The Match at Mission Hills between TigerWoods and Rory McIlroy brings two of sport’s biggest stars together at Mission Hills and Hainan for the first time.

“It will undoubtedly support the growth of the game of golf in the region and across China, and further cement the government-led initiative in making Hainan a leading international tourism destination.”

Back9Network and YouTube will serve as online streaming partners (outside China) for The Match at Mission Hills, with the event streamed worldwide excluding USA and Canada. Woods and McIlroy will again wear microphones throughout the round, providing viewers with inside-the-ropes access to their conversations.

Back9Network On-Air Host and Executive Producer Ahmad Rashad, a frequent playing partner of both Woods and McIlroy, will share his unique insights with viewers throughout Back9Network’s coverage.