World number one, Rory McIlroy teamed up with Dustin Johnson to win the charity skins match organised by TaylorMade that took place in Seminole course on Sunday, May 17.
The match, which saw players winning skins, prize money, at each hole was an effort to raise money for coronavirus relief funds. It was also the first golf game since the Players Championship in March.
Team McIlroy and Johnson were up against Matthew Wolff and Rickie Fowler in a very competitive game, but McIlroy was able to prove why he was number once again.
The game started off with Team McIlroy winning three of their first six holes and everything seemed to be in their favour. But Fowler was right on them and was able to move his team forward, scoring a few birdies. He was eventually able to lessen the lead and won money than Team McIlroy.
Things took a drastic turn in the last two holes because of the money that had piled up. In a skins match, if none of the team claims the skins in a hole, it is added to the next hole, and so on. The skin on the 17th hole was $200,000 while the 18th hole was $500,000.
However, money had been rolling over before the 17th hole, so that the prize at the 17th hole was $600,000, which none of the teams won. They also failed to win the prize at the 18th hole, which was now $1.1m. The match had to be extended to a closest-to-the-pin competition and McIlroy was able to do justice this time, winning the $1.1m prize money and the match.
Team McIlroy won 11 of the skins, for a total of $1.85m, with McIlroy being responsible for 8, while Team Fowler won 7 skins, for a total of $1.15m, Fowler winning all of it.
The course was without fans or spectators as it was all televised. Viewers were given the chance to donate and they managed to raise an extra $2m. The players were without caddies and everyone maintained adequate social distancing.
Speaking after the match, McIlroy expressed his delight at golf being back, after being away for 9 weeks, since the Players Championship, although things were a bit different now. He said, “It’s a different setting than what we’re used to, but to get those competitive juices going again, it was nice to feel it.”
The PGA Tour is preparing to come back as they have released new guidelines that would see how the game is being played to ensure that everyone is safe.
Written by: Leon Osamor