Rory McIlroy beat Tiger Woods by one shot in an 18-hole exhibition event in Haikou, China, to claim victory in the event for the second year in succession.
Having also struck a round of 67 to win by one shot at the Jinsha Lake course in 2012, McIlroy returned to the event to card four birdies and an eagle on the back nine this time around, helping him secure a narrow triumph.
Woods had an opportunity to tie the match at the final hole but missed a 20-foot eagle attempt to hand McIlroy the title—his first of a barren 2013 calendar year.
|Mission Hills Scoreboard|
|Rory McIlroy||GBR||67 (-6)|
|Tiger Woods||USA||68 (-5)|
McIlroy said of his victory, courtesy of ESPN's Staff via the Associated Press, "I would like to play all my tournaments in China, where I can beat Tiger."
While the tournament is meaningless in all, bar the considerable appearance money on offer to both players, victory will come as some relief to the 24-year-old former world No. 1 after his recent travails. Despite the relatively relaxed nature of the event, he will be delighted with his form.
McIlroy struck eight birdies to Tiger's seven, while a double bogey at the fifth was cancelled out by two dropped shots from his opponent over the course of the round.
The Northern Irishman has spent the last few weeks in Asia, playing tournaments in Seoul and Shanghai, but he has been unable to come close to ending his long title drought.
The event in Hainan province was expected to earn McIlroy close to £1 million, per The Telegraph, with Woods earning well in excess of that figure as China continues to flex its financial muscle to attract major sporting stars and events to the country.
A relative non-event on the international golf calendar, the day was given major billing by the Chinese media, as shown by the tournament receiving its own page with news and updates on Chinese Internet giant Sina.
Besides the round, the golfers were also involved in a skills demonstration with young Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, who, at age 14, played the Masters at Augusta last year.
There was bad news for Guan on Sunday, though, as 19-year-old Korean Lee Chang-Woo prevented him from retaining his Asia-Pacific Amateur title, ending his hopes of a return to the tournament next spring, per the South China Morning Post.
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