Sports / Golf

Woods looks to 'decade' of battles with McIlroy

By China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2012-10-24 13:40

Tiger Woods hopes his "Duel at Jinsha Lake" showdown with Rory McIlroy in Zhengzhou on Oct 29 will usher in the beginning of many battles between the two.

Woods, 36, won three times on this year's PGA Tour and moved up to No 2 in the world rankings.

McIlroy, meanwhile, regained the No 1 position in August with his eight-stroke victory in the PGA Championship. Last month, the 23-year-old stretched his lead at the top with back-to-back wins in the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship.

Woods, a 14-time major winner, believes the Northern Irishman will be one of his main rivals in the coming years and is now looking ahead to their 18-hole medal-match contest at the prestigious Jinsha Lake Golf Club.

"It's going to be a lot of fun going head to head with Rory. We're going to go out there and hopefully play well, give it a go and entertain the gallery," said Woods, who earlier this month played against McIlroy in a pool match in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

"We've all seen how talented Rory is. It'll be fun to battle him for the next decade or so and hopefully we'll have many battles to come."

Woods' 100 career wins include 74 PGA Tour titles, second only to Sam Snead, and the American will be a massive draw as he appears for the first time at Jinsha Lake, one of the host venues in last October's widely televised China Golf Challenge, which McIlroy competed in.

"I enjoy head-to-head events, so it's great to do this in China. I've played in China many times over the past decade, but it will be my first time at Jinsha Lake and in Zhengzhou, so I'm looking forward to the experience. I've heard the fans get pretty excited," Woods said.

"China's a growing market and what they've done in golf over the past decade or so is incredible. China is young in golf terms but rising fast, especially with the sport joining the Olympics."

Woods has lots of experience in head-to-head events and one-day contests. The American competed in annual events from 1999-2005 comprising the "Showdown at Sherwood", "Battle at Bighorn" (three editions) and "Battle at The Bridges" (three editions). He also won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship three times on the PGA Tour.

The Duel at Jinsha Lake is owned and promoted by Infinite Ideas International (i3), the promoter of last October's seven-day, seven-city China Golf Challenge.

Raymond Roessel, the managing director of i3, is excited to bring together two such famous sports personalities, a year after working closely with McIlroy on the pioneering China Golf Challenge.

"It's such a rare opportunity to work with two such famous players and personalities as Tiger and Rory, and put them together in a head-to-head format," Roessel said.

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