Jinsha - Rory McIlroy staked an early lead
before holding on to win by a stroke in his "Duel at Jinsha Lake"
18-hole exhibition event against Tiger Woods on Monday.
"It was a
pretty exciting day and the match was pretty close all day," Northern
Ireland's McIlroy told reporters just 24 hours after finishing second in
the European Tour BMW Masters event in Shanghai.
number one moved into a lead he would never relinquish against his
American opponent when he birdied two of his opening three holes and
Woods dropped a shot on the third, before going on to sign for a
bogey-free five-under 67.
On a cool and misty day in front of an
enthusiastic gallery, double major winner McIlroy made the turn two
shots clear of Woods at three-under par in the medal match-play
Woods, who was playing in China for a first time in
two years, clawed a shot back when he chipped in from off the green at
the par-three 12th but slipped two behind again with a bogey on the
The world number two birdied the 14th to reapply the
pressure back on McIlroy and after both players picked up shots on the
15th, they each parred the final three holes with Woods almost forcing a
playoff when he almost chipped in on the last.
"I got off to a
good start and had a little bit of advantage for the first few holes but
then Tiger birdied a few on the back nine. All I was trying to do was
to keep myself ahead and I managed to do that," McIlroy added.
Woods arrived in Zhengzhou having finished fourth in the CIMB Classic in
Malaysia on Sunday and was looking for a repeat win over McIlroy after
handing the Briton a seven-shot round-robin defeat in the recent World
Golf Final in Turkey.
However, both players struggled with the
speed of the Jinsha Lake greens while staff fought a constant battle
with fans, who often broke through security lines.
defeat, Woods hinted he would welcome further opportunities to go
head-to-head against McIlroy in similar end-of-season exhibition
"This certainly was not my usual way I spend Mondays but
to have this many people come out and watch us play golf... was
something special," Woods said.
"These events don't happen that
often and it was just great to see everyone so excited to see us come
here and excited to watch us play," the 14-time major champion added.
"So as far as doing something like this down the road, it would be fun.
"We're ranked one and two in the world respectively and to have matches
like this to promote the game of golf is what it's all about."