On Monday, in a match promoted as "the Duel" at Jinsha Lake Golf Club in Zhengzhou, China, golf fans were treated to a one-on-one match between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
McIlroy started with birdies on two of the first three holes and held on to win the exhibition, 67-68. Woods was two back at the turn and chipped in on 12 for birdie to creep within one. On 13, however, he gave the shot back with a sloppy bogey from the middle of the fairway.
McIlroy never gave Woods an opening, hitting fairways and greens during a bogeyless round. When Woods airmailed the 18th green with his approach after a perfect drive, McIlroy closed him out with one last par.
(Photos: McIlroy's career | Woods's career) Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck traveled to the match after covering the tournament in Shanghai and described the scene on Twitter as "chaotic," with marshals locking arms to hold back thousands of fans and "so many camera clicks it sounds like machine-gun fire."
McIlroy, No. 1 in the World Ranking, and Woods, No. 2, should be plenty familiar with each other after a season in which their new rivalry came into its own. They have played together several times during the second half of the year, including the opening rounds at the Barclays at Bethpage Black and the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, both during September's FedEx Cup Playoffs. Three weeks ago at the eight-man World Golf Final in Turkey, Woods drubbed McIlroy by six shots. (Shipnuck: At Sheshan, a read on China)
Both players traveled to Zhengzhou in good form, if slightly jet-lagged. McIlroy shot a final-round 67 and finished second by one shot on Sunday at the BMW Masters in Shanghai. Woods fired a final-round 63 to tie for fourth at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
"We'll both probably be a little bit tired," Woods said on Sunday in Malaysia. "But we're going to try and put on a good show, shoot a low round and have a little bit of fun."
McIlroy has won four other times this season, including the PGA Championship, his second career major title. Woods has won three titles in 2012, most recently at the AT&T National on July 1, but was shut out in the majors for the fourth straight season. RELATED: Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage (Photo: Hong Wu/Getty Images) Correction: An earlier version of this article said that the format for the competition would be match play. It was stroke play.