It was hyped as two contenders dueling it out to the finish. No, it wasn’t an event like the Thrilla in Manila in 1975, when heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier battled it out for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship in one of the sport’s greatest match-ups. Monday’s bout involved the top two golfers in the world, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (pictured, competing in this year’s Ryder Cup).
The golfers played in a one-on-one exhibition at Lake Jinsha Golf Club in Zhenghou, China. Woods outdrove the Northern Irishman, but never led during the three-hour match. McIlroy made no bogeys during play, winning the event by one shot with a 67.
They actually looked like they were actually enjoy each other’s company as well as the unique event itself. “We had a great match,” Woods said to the media after the event. “It was a lot of fun, and I think everyone here enjoyed it. It’d be fun if we can do something like this again.”
The pay-per-view, made-for-television exhibition was for the fans. To make it interesting, open microphones were used so viewers could hear the interaction between the two golfers.
Topics of discussion included golf clubs, balls, the past season and the 2013 PGA Tour. One highlight was when McIlroy borrowed Woods’ Nike iron and practicing swinging. Maybe the 23-year-old tried out the iron because he recently signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Nike and wanted to check out his new sponsor’s equipment.
According to the Golf Channel, Woods also talked about his swing coach, Sean Foley, commenting, “I’ve been hitting my short irons so (expletive) far.” Woods has been with Foley since 2010, working at least two times a week during the off season.
However, being professional athletes, they had plenty of trash talk going around with several jabs at each other – not the physical kind like boxers, but plenty of entertaining, verbal barbs.
For more stories from Cheri Jensen, see http://www.rantsports.com/golf/author/cherijensen/.