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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods play exhibition in China. Photo by AP

Rory and Tiger at exhibition in China. Big payday for both. Photo by AP

The acclaimed par 73 Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in Haikou, China saw Rory McIlroy defeat Tiger Woods by one shot in a head-to-head exhibition match Monday. The match was billed as The Match at Mission Hills.

This is the second straight year that these two have faced each other in this high-profile made for TV showdown.  McIlroy is 2 for 2 beating Woods both times.

This year McIlroy, 24, is ranked 6th and Woods, 38, is 1st in the 2013 Official World Rankings. Last year Woods was 3rd and McIlroy 1st in the Rankings.

Woods, the PGA Player of the Year, was defeated by McIlroy who fired a six under par 67 while Woods closed with a five under par 68.

Rory said of the experience this year: “Obviously, any time I’m on the golf course with Tiger, I know that I have my work cut out for me. This was a really enjoyable event and I’m happy to have been able to repeat last year’s result.  It wasn’t surprising that Tiger was playing extremely well. It was great to beat the game’s best player.”

The exhibition offered up huge paydays for both McIlroy and Woods. The event reportedly paid McIlroy $1.5 million, (£930,000) and Woods over $2 million, (£1.24 million), according to the UK Telegraph. Not even the European PGA’s BMW Masters or upcoming World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions  could match the pairs fees. The winning checks for the BMW and HSBC Champions are $1,124,829 and $1.2 million respectively.

The Chinese are obviously flexing their financial muscle as they continue to build their presence in the golf world paying top prices to attract top players while building championship golf courses using the expertise of noted golf course developers like Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els and others.

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