Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson Beat Fowler, Wolff in $3M Charity Skins Match

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2020

JUNO BEACH, FLORIDA - MAY 17: (L-R) Rickie Fowler of the CDC Foundation team, Matthew Wolff of the CDC Foundation team, Rory McIlroy of the American Nurses Foundation team and Dustin Johnson of the American Nurses Foundation team warm up prior to the TaylorMade Driving Relieve Supported By UnitedHealth Group on May 17, 2020 at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Fans were treated to some live golf Sunday as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson teamed up to beat Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a skins game at Seminole Golf Club.

The TaylorMade Driving Relief charity match had a $3 million purse that served as a fundraiser for those affected by the coronavirus.

The two sides each started with $500,000 and were playing for $50,000 to $500,000 per hole in the best-ball format. However, the skins format built the final-hole value to $1.1 million, which wasn't settled until a closest-to-the-hole tiebreaker on 17.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Closest to the pin for $1.1 million…RORS! What a way to end the day for @McIlroyRory. #DrivingRelief https://t.co/SaQ8CPpsVQ

McIlroy won on the final shot, giving him and Johnson a total of 11 skins and $1.85 million, which will go to the American Nurses Foundation. The Fowler-Wolff duo ended up with $1.15 million from their seven skins, going to the CDC Foundation.  

TaylorMade, Farmers Insurance and others also donated bonus money based on birdies, eagles and long drives during the day.

Full results available at PGATour.com.


Though the match was an exhibition for charity, the format was designed to increase the stakes as the day progressed.

According to Kyle Porter of CBS Sports, the first six holes were worth $50,000 each, while the next 10 were worth $100,000 each. The momentum grew at 17 with $200,000 on the line before an 18th hole worth $500,000.

In a skins game, a tie on any hole also carries the value to the next hole.

This was seen right out of the gate with the two sides halving each of the first two holes. A birdie by Johnson on No. 3 finally ended the streak and secured three skins and a $150,000 in the process.

There was a lot more pressure down the stretch as the teams tied on each hole from 13 to 18, worth a combined $1.1 million.

The rules stated the match would come down to a closest-to-the-pin contest on 17th, which saw McIlroy narrowly edge Wolff for the win.  


A win for them is a win for all. @McIlroyRory and @DJohnsonPGA have won the TaylorMade #DrivingRelief skins match, raising $1,850,000 dollars worth of skins to go towards COVID-19 relief efforts! https://t.co/99uZQ7eOfD

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Rory McIlroy pulls it out in the end. Sneaks his tee shot inside Wolff's, even though we never saw 'em walk it off. Cue the conspiracy theorists!

McIlroy and Johnson didn't have a better score on any hole after No. 6 and both missed a chance to seal the victory on 18, but they were still able to secure the victory. 

This was despite the fact that Fowler and Wolff were able to get most of the big-money shots throughout the day:


A 356-yard drive? Impressive. Outdriving Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy? Also impressive. @Matthew_Wolff5 earned $100,000 towards the CDC Foundation via the TaylorMade Bonus with the win in this #DrivingRelief long-drive competition. https://t.co/ANpehuSYF3

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

For $300,000 and @RickieFowler walks it in! We've got a ball game making the turn. #DrivingRelief https://t.co/ZpubWgjxhl

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

And the crowd goes wild 😆 @RickieFowler is pouring in putts and money for charity right now. #DrivingRelief https://t.co/WVJ0DwTBeH

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Let the big Wolff eat 🐺 368-yard drive = $350,000 for charity. #DrivingRelief https://t.co/hTRLFJz1CQ

Fowler was especially impressive with seven birdies in the round, although his opponents were able to keep stride when it mattered most.

Having the players mic'd up made the event even more enjoyable for those watching at home. 

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Trash talk: Activated @McIlroyRory #DrivingRelief https://t.co/vIfOPlImL0

Sunday's contest was the first televised golf competition since The Players Championship in March, before the PGA season was put on hold due to the coronavirus. McIlroy (No. 1 player in the world), Johnson (No. 5) and Fowler (No. 27) provided plenty of star power, while Wolff showed what he could do as an emerging player in the sport.

It helped provide the players and fans with added excitement as they await a return to full-time golf action. 

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will also take part in an exhibition match next Sunday in Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity."