Tiger Woods: Strong Showing in CIMB Vital Before 1-on-1 with Rory McIlroy

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 26:  Tiger Woods of USA watches his tee shot on the 2nd hole during day two of the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club on October 26, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

With an intriguing one-on-one matchup with Rory McIlroy right around the corner, Tiger Woods needs a strong finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia this weekend.

The CIMB Classic is a pretty low-key event when it comes to golf tournaments. It's not an official PGA event, so there's no reward for winning the event in terms of points or adding to his impressive list of wins. McIlroy isn't there either, as he's off at the BMW Masters. However, the CIMB can still be seen as an important event for Woods.

The CIMB boasts a total purse of $6.1 million, which gets divvied up between a field of 48 golfers. The winner gets $1.3 million. Beside the money, though, Woods could use a nice momentum boost heading into a high-profile one-on-one meeting with McIlroy.

McIlroy, who is currently the No. 1 golfer in the world, according to the official rankings, will take on Tiger in a rare 18-hole match-play-style event that will be held in China on Monday, Oct. 29.

McIlroy appears to be ready for the one-on-one match; he currently sits at No. 2 on the leaderboard at the BMW Masters, which is taking place in Shanghai this weekend. At 12 under par, it's obvious that McIlroy will have no issues in parlaying his momentum from the Ryder Cup into a good performance in both the BMW Masters and his match with Woods.

However, Woods hasn't made a huge statement with his play thus far in the CIMB. After two rounds Woods sits at No. 5 on the leaderboard and five shots from the lead. Considering the lack of elite players in the tournament and his penchant for getting off to a hot start, Woods should be closer to the top.

For all of Woods' success this year, the biggest storyline around him has been his inability to close out tournaments. While this isn't nearly a grand enough stage to prove that he's beyond that struggle, it would be a nice boost of confidence for him to find his groove on the greens and earn a come-from-behind victory this weekend.

With a match against the heir apparent to the title of "Biggest Name in Golf" ahead, he needs all the momentum he can get.