Golf: Tiger and McIlroy to face Thomas and Spieth in December: reports

Tiger Woods (left) and Rory McIlroy during the 14th hole during the second round of the 2022 PGA Championship. PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI – Tiger Woods, battling back from severe leg injuries suffered in a 2021 car crash, will join Rory McIlroy in a 12-hole December exhibition under the lights against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

Golf Digest and The Fried Egg reported on Thursday that Woods, a 15-time Major champion, and Northern Irishman McIlroy will meet Americans Spieth and Thomas in a made-for-television event.

The Dec 10 showdown will be the seventh edition of “The Match” and mark the third appearance for Woods, who shares the all-time record of 82 career PGA titles with Sam Snead.

The 46-year-old played against fellow veteran Phil Mickelson in 2018 and, in 2020, partnered National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning to defeat Mickelson and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady in a pairs match-up.

World No. 1 McIlroy, Spieth and Thomas, who won his second PGA Championship in May, will be making their first appearance in “The Match”.

It will mark the second time it has been held in 2022, with Brady and Aaron Rodgers teaming up to defeat fellow-NFL quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in Las Vegas in June.

It is expected to be played at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.

The exhibition is set for the weekend before the PNC Championship in Orlando, where Woods has played alongside his son Charlie in past years.

It also falls the weekend after he hosts the Hero World Challenge tournament in the Bahamas.

The American, who needed screws and metal rods to hold his shattered right leg together, made his return to competition 14 months after the accident at the 2022 Masters, where he finished 47th and achieved a victory of sorts simply by walking 72 holes over the difficult layout.

He withdrew from the PGA Championship after 54 holes, struggling with stamina issues after making the cut.

In July, he missed the cut at the British Open at St Andrews in his most recent competitive start. AFP, REUTERS

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