First Robin Hood, Then M*A*S*H & Dukes Of Hazzard – Now The Return Of Rory & Tiger

It seems appropriate two superstars golf in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy should have played their first competitive round together at Sherwood Country Club and venue for this week’s ZoZo Championship.

The continuing worldwide pandemic has seen the event moved from Japan to the Santa Monica hills region near Thousand Oaks to the north of L.A.

The region around Sherwood has been the backdrop for a major Hollywood blockbuster movie and at least two smash hit TV shows.

Aussie-born Errol Flynn playing the part of Robin Hood

Sherwood gets its name from Sherwood Forest and as legend has it, Robin Hood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, featuring screen legends Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, was filmed there.

It’s why the golf club adopted a Robin Hood-like figure with bow-and-arrow as its logo, and there’s also the club’s annual ‘Bow and Arrow’ tournament.

Also, remember the opening scene in M*A*S*H as we watched a Korean War-era US Army helicopter flying over the hills to be met by the likes of ‘Hawkeye’, ‘BJ’, ‘Major Houlihan’ and ‘Radar’?   That was filmed close to Sherwood.  So too were scenes from the Dukes of Hazzard, and before there was a golf course.

From 2000 to 2013 the club hosted what is now the Hero Challenge.

Woods dominated at Sherwood winning five times and finishing runner-up also five times in the normally 18-player field.

In 2010, two Irish in Graeme McDowell and McIlroy were in the field.

McDowell was the reigning U.S. Open champ, Woods World No. 2 and McIlroy at World No. 10 and coming off his maiden PGA Tour win earlier that year at Quail Hollow.

McDowell would hole a monster birdie putt at the first extra hole to deny Woods.  Two years later McDowell would win again at Sherwood.

In 2002, Padraig Harrington also relegated Woods into second place at Sherwood.

Now both Woods and McIlroy, and two of the game’s leading lights, have returned to Sherwood Country Club.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy played their first competitive round together at the 2010 Williams World Challenge

“I remember coming down the last hole, Tiger was 5 under for the day and I was 4 under for the day and I’m thinking, ‘oh, if I birdie, I can tie him’,” said McIlroy

“He ended up making birdie and shooting 6 under and I doubled the last to shoot 2 under.

“So, it ended up not being quite as close as it was, but still a great experience. I think everyone will remember, especially someone of my age, growing up watching Tiger.

“I think sort of that’s etched in my memory just that little bit more because it was a dream of mine to play in a tournament with him and against him”.

Now a decade on and the 15-time major-winning will be Woods warming-up for the defence on November 12th of his Masters and also looking for PGA Tour record-setting ‘W’ No. 83 while McIlroy looking also to find Augusta form, as well as a first victory in nearly 12 months.

“For me, it’s four rounds, it’s an opportunity to win a PGA Tour event,” said McIlroy.

“That’s sort of first and foremost what my focus is. It’s been a year basically since I’ve won, I haven’t won since China last year. I think that’s first and foremost.

“It’s a great opportunity to try to get a win and get into contention and I think that would be a big step if I were able to — I haven’t really been in contention much since coming back from the lockdown.

“If I could get into contention this week and have a chance to win, I think that would be great for just overall confidence in play and all that.

“But obviously great looking ahead a couple weeks’ time and getting in a position where you’re having to hit shots under the gun and under that pressure of trying to win a golf tournament.”

McIlroy is the lone Irishman in the 78-player, Euro 6.73m event and teeing-up Irish time 7.51pm in the company of Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson.


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