Rory McIlroy has hailed Tiger Woods’ win at The Masters as ‘one of the best comebacks in sporting history’, as the duo prepare to go head-to-head in The Challenge: Japan Skins on Monday.
McIlroy and Woods are joined by Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama for a pay-per-view event that features a prize pot of $350,000, as the Irishman who won the FedEx Cup last month poured praise on one of his great golfing friends and rivals.
“I take a couple of very important lessons from Tiger’s Masters win this year,” said McIlroy, who spent his Saturday in Japan watching Ireland crash out of the rugby World Cup against New Zealand in Tokyo.
“I can’t add any more praise to that outstanding victory except to say that, for me, it was one of the best comebacks in sporting history.
“Fourteen years since Tiger’s last Augusta win and eleven years since his last Major victory are stats that tell a story of commitment and resilience that should be lessons to us all.”
McIlroy is relishing the chance to take on Woods, Day and Matsuyama in Japan, with the four-time major winner eager to put on a show for an audience of millions around the world.
“I’m really looking forward to the light-hearted and engaging nature of The Challenge, but I will be conscious to never underestimate Tiger’s desire to win,” he added. “It’s his very driving force.
“I like skins as a format. I play it often when I’m back home. It’s a cool format because if you’re not in a position to win the hole, you’re rooting for another guy to tie the hole with someone else so you can at least be in and play for that skin on the next hole. It’s a really social format and so much fun.
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) September 19, 2019
“I think I’ll be really aggressive in the skins – not that I’m not that aggressive any other time that I play. But I think even more so in the skins. You’re going to have to go for pins. One of the really big things in skins games is trying to birdie the tough holes, as this give you a better chance of winning the skins. So just play ultra-aggressive.”
The prize money on offer for the Japan Skins event has been confirmed, with the players competing for a total purse of $350,000 for the selected charity partners, with hole values divided as follows:
Holes 1 through 6: $10,000 per skin
Holes 7 through 12: $15,000 per skin
Holes 13 through 17: $20,000 per skin
Hole 18: $100,000 super skin
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