Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy set for second duel in China
Agence France-Presse in Beijing
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, organisers said yesterday.
Golf's world number one and two will appear at an as yet unnamed venue on October 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," said Woods.
"We're good friends, but both of us love to win, so I'm expecting more great golf," added the 14-time major-winner.
"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."
McIlroy won last year's event in Zhengzhou, but it is remembered mainly for the behaviour 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 on Woods once 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," he said.