18 May 2020

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson win sudden-death hole in charity event as golf is back on course

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson have won the first men's golf event to be held since the coronavirus pandemic led to a global shutdown of the sport in March.

The pair claimed victory over Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a nail-biting skins game at Seminole Golf Club in Florida on Sunday.

The nature of a skins game means the players compete for money on each hole and should there be no winner, the prize rolls over to the next hole.

With the scores halved at the end of the allocated six holes, the overall winner of the £910,000 pot was decided on a sudden death tie-breaker.

All four returned to the 121-yard 17th hole and McIlroy showed his class as the world's top player hitting a seamless tee shot that took him to within 13 feet of the hole and claimed the win for his pairing.

The Northern Irishman was excited to be back on the course despite the lack of spectators or caddies and the enforcement of social distancing rules between players.

A lack of caddies meant players were required to carry their own bags (PA Images)

"It's only been nine weeks since the Players," said McIlroy. "It feels much longer than that. We just went through an unprecedented time so it was nice to get back out there.

"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 total sum was calculated using McIlroy and Johnson's £1.53m, Fowler and Woolf's £951,000 plus additional donations made by viewers.

This amounted to a fund of more than £4m which will be split between two coronavirus pandemic relief charities.

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