Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy to Play in 'The Challenge: Japan Skins' in October

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2019

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 30: Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland stand on the 13th tee during the fourth round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 30, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will both play in the "The Challenge: Japan Skins" golf event set for Monday, October 21. Woods and McIlroy will join Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day in Chiba, Japan, according to Golf Channel.

Woods hasn't played in Japan in 2006, but the 43-year-old said "it will be fun to try something a little different and add a few strategic elements as we compete."

Meanwhile, McIlroy is already targeting success: "There are so many fun elements to The Challenge that will have me wanting to take home that title."

The presence of McIlroy and Woods adds some true star power to what is essentially an exhibition event.

GolfDigest.com's Joel Beall provided further details on a format he described as somewhat mirroring PGA Tour offseason event "The Skins Game."

Beall also noted how some holes will feature challenges to be revealed amid play during the live broadcast. There are rewards for the players involved, with the purse totalling $350,000.

Each hole is set to increase in value as Woods, McIlroy and Co. progress over the course at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

The skins format means all four players engage in matchplay over each hole. Whoever scores lowest on the hole takes the value assigned or "skin."

"I'm a huge fan of the skins format," McIlroy said, per Beall. "I love the way it rewards attacking play and think it suits my game quite well. Any time I can go directly at pins to try and make birdies and eagles, I think it puts me at an advantage."

Woods and McIlroy will be expected to assert themselves against Day and Matsuyama, who are ranked 23rd and 27th respectively, according to the PGA Tour.

McIlroy was given a welcome surprise recently when he received the Jack Nicklaus award from the man himself as the PGA's Player of the Year:

It was a deserved accolade after the Irishman won the Tour and Players Championship during this calendar year. Meanwhile, Woods turned the clock back to claim the Masters by one stroke.

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