Rory McIlroy defeated Tiger Woods in China in the first head-to-head match between the world’s top two golfers.
Top-ranked McIlroy of Northern Ireland shot a bogey-free five-under-par 67 to beat 14-time major champion Woods of the U.S. by one stroke to win the 18-hole “Duel at Jinsha Lake” in Zhengzhou, China.
“It was close the whole day,” McIlroy said in comments distributed by event organizers. “I had the better start, then Tiger started getting birdies on the back nine.”
McIlroy and the second-ranked Woods had never before played head-to-head without other competitors.
“This is certainly not like most Mondays,” Woods said. “To have this many people come out is pretty special. We’re ranked one and two in the world so a match like this can really promote the game in China. I’ve come here for 11 years now and it’s amazing how much the game has grown here.”