Role reversal for Woods, McIlroy heading into duel in China

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (left) and Tiger Woods of the U.S. stand together during the first...

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (left) and Tiger Woods of the U.S. stand together during the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, June 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Matt Sullivan)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

It was nothing but a exhibition spectacle between golf’s two biggest stars in 2012 and both were paid hefty appearance fees to show up in China.

This year, The Match at Mission Hills will be much the same when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy go mano-a-mano. Last year Tiger reportedly was paid $2-million and McIlroy $1-million for their three-and-a-half hour, 18-hole jaunt (hey, you’re not going to get these two guys for free, let alone in China) and Woods will be looking to regain bragging rights from his young foil after McIlroy bested him by a shot in the inaugural event.

But that was last year, and outside of the fact that it’s cool to see two of the game’s current greats duel (albeit for a cash windfall), this one is intriguing for reasons very different from the last.

In fact, the difference is almost a complete 180-degree flip-flop.


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