Tiger Woods will be looking to get square over Rory McIlroy when the pair go head-to-head in “The Match at Mission Hills” on October 28th at Hainan Island off the coast of China.
Last year, McIlroy narrowly won the Duel at Lake Jinsha and now the marvelous Mission Hills complex and the highly acclaimed Blackstone Course will see the 18-time Major winning Woods compete against the double Major winning McIlroy.
While Woods has never been to Hainan Island, McIlroy is no stranger to the course having teamed with fellow Irishman Graeme McDowell in the 2011 World Cup of Golf.
“The Match at Mission Hills is geared to be a great contest with the great setting in Haikou, and I’m excited about playing there for the first time,” said Woods in a statement released by organizers of the event.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Blackstone, so it looks like a great location for the re-match with Rory, 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 and I’m looking forward to visiting Hainan Island for the first time.”
“I’m hoping to win this time. I’ve had a really good year on the PGA Tour, so it would be nice to earn another trophy in China.” Woods continued.
“Opened in 2010, the championship Blackstone course was named Asia’s “Best New Course” by GOLF Magazine (U.S.) and “Asia Pacific Best Championship Course” by the Asian Golf Monthly magazine.
The course also hosted Asia’s only golf and entertainment event Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro Am and the 2011 World Cup of Golf in which McIlroy and McDowell ended tied in fourth behind the winning American duo of Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.
Current World No. 4, McIlroy, who had played twice at the World Cup of Golf in Mission Hills, claimed that he is very much ready for the challenge set by the in-form Woods, pointing to the advantage he will take from having had match experience on the Blackstone Course back in 2011:
“I’m expecting a lot of fun this time in Hainan,” he said.
“Tiger has played 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.
“It is really special when you can generate this 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,” added the 24 year old Northern Irishman.
The Match at Mission Hills is the latest highly-anticipated event to be hosted by the Mission Hills Group, which has hosted over 100 international tournaments and has been at the forefront of China’s golf scene since hosting 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 Tiger Woods 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.”