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Rory McIlroy triumphs in The Match 9, securing $1.6 million in dramatic tiebreaker

Posted : 27 February 2024

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy emerged victorious in The Match 9 on Monday night in West Palm Beach, Fla., clinching $1.6 million in a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker. The exhibition golf event featured McIlroy, Max Homa, and LPGA stars Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang competing in a 12-hole skins match under the lights at The Park golf course.


McIlroy showcased his skills by winning three skins, accumulating a total of $800,000 for charity. Despite a lack of winners in the final four holes, a generous donation of $500,000 from one of McIlroy's unidentified friends elevated the stakes to the final amount.


The dramatic conclusion occurred at the par-5 12th hole, where McIlroy and Homa both birdied after missed eagle attempts. The ensuing tiebreaker from approximately 100 yards saw McIlroy's precision as he stuck his wedge shot to 4 feet, 2 1/2 inches, securing the win as none of his counterparts could surpass his feat. Lexi Thompson was the only other player to claim a skin, earning $200,000 with a remarkable eagle putt at the second hole, while Homa and Zhang remained off the scoreboard.


A unique challenge unfolded at the fourth hole, requiring players to select a single club for the entire hole. McIlroy's strategic use of a 5-wood from tee to green, including putting, resulted in a par and his first skin of the match. This victory marked McIlroy's second appearance in The Match series, securing his first win after previously teaming up with Tiger Woods in The Match 7.


Reflecting on the experience, McIlroy highlighted the enjoyment of playing alongside Max, Rose, and Lexi in the impressive facility, emphasizing the positive atmosphere of the event. Notably, The Match 9 marked the series' first edition featuring female competitors, with Rose Zhang expressing excitement about the unique environment and anticipating future opportunities outside her comfort zone.


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