The Match: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy beaten by Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in Florida
The contest was the seventh edition of The Match and raised money for Hurricane Ian relief efforts; Tiger Woods birdied his opening hole in first TV appearance since missing the cut at The Open in July; Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas ran out 3&2 winners
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas claimed bragging rights over Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy with victory in the latest instalment of The Match.
Spieth and Thomas registered seven birdies during the made-for-tv exhibition at Pelican Golf Club in Florida, raising money for Hurricane Ian relief efforts, to secure a 3&2 victory in the 12-hole contest.
All four players were mic’d up and using custom carts for the floodlit match, which was Woods’ first televised appearance since missing the cut at The Open in July after sitting out last week’s Hero World Challenge due to injury.
“Tiger and Rory, what happened?” Thomas and Spieth said on Twitter after the win. “How do you lose to us two? It’s alright, everybody does!”
Woods admitted he had not hit a golf ball for over two weeks ahead of the contest due to plantar fasciitis, although he got up and down from just short of the green at the driveable par-four first to tie the hole with a birdie.
Thomas drained a long-range birdie at the second and Spieth rolled in from 15 feet at the par-three next, while Thomas two-putted from off the green using a five-wood for a winning par in the one-club challenge hole.
McIlroy missed a 12-foot birdie try to win the next and the teams claimed a share of the sixth with pars, before the world No 1 drained a 20-footer at the seventh to win the only hole of the contest for him and Woods.
Thomas restored their advantage on the very next hole, rolling in from 12 feet for birdie, with Spieth then matching Woods and McIlroy’s birdie on the 10th to seal the victory.
“The fact that we were able to do something under the lights that never before happened in our sport, to be able to grow it in a different way,” Woods said afterwards.