Rory McIlroy is on a whole new level. He beats the field at The Match and gives $2.4 million to charity.
Rory McIlroy is happy during The Match IX on February 26, 2024, at The Park West Palm.

Rory McIlroy was the only one of the four players in the ninth edition of The Match who had played in this exhibition series before.

The four-time major winner looked at ease playing novices Max Homa, Lexi Thompson, and Rose Zhang, showing that he was used to this kind of competition.

McIlroy beat everyone else and won three skins, worth a total of $800,000. Then he won the last skin in a contest for being the closest to the pin, which raised another $1.1 million for charity.

But before he hit it within five feet of the hole to win The Match, McIlroy said something nice on the 12th tee, which was the last hole. He told the people watching on TNT that a friend would give the event an extra $500,000. In the end, that made McIlroy’s wins $2.4 million, which will be given to the First Tee organisation.

This is Rory McIlroy, winner of The Match IX, with Max Homa, Rose Zhang, Lexi Thompson, and two child champions.
This is Rory McIlroy, winner of The Match IX, with Max Homa, Rose Zhang, Lexi Thompson, and two child champions.

The day started with a tie on the first hole, a par-5. That meant the skin money from the first hole followed them to the second, a par-4 that could be drained. This quickly made the race fierce.

Thompson’s shot was just off the green, and she had to make an eagle putt from the edge 35 feet away. Then she made a hole in it, which gave her the hole and the first two skins of the match. She won $200,000, but that was the last hole she or anyone else who wasn’t Rory McIlroy would win.
At the par-4 4th hole, two holes later, “One Club Challenge” took place in The Match.

Each player had to choose a unique club, which meant that no one else could use the same one. They could only use that club for the whole hole.

Homa chose a 7-wood, while McIlroy chose a 5-wood. Zhang chose a 4-hybrid, while Thompson chose a 4-iron.

McIlroy managed to get a par, while the other golfers looked like they had double-digit handicaps. The Northern Irishman got two skins because the third hole, a par-3, was split in half.

McIlroy hit the ball the closest to the pin on the par-3 5th, which earned him an extra $100,000. However, everyone else made par, so the skin went to the 6th.

During The Match IX, Rory McIlroy hits a tee shot.
During The Match IX, Rory McIlroy hits a tee shot.

McIlroy easily won that hole, and all of a sudden he had $500,000.

After another half at the 7th, McIlroy made a simple par with two putts at the 8th.

But everyone else around him fell on the greens, with Homa falling the most. When the former California Golden Bear tried to three-putt from 15 feet, he missed from about three feet out.

McIlroy completed the Homa putt, which earned him two more skins worth $300,000.

When the group got to the 9th hole, McIlroy had $800,000 and Thompson had $200,000. Homa and Zhang didn’t have anything.

But the last three holes were all even, so it came down to the par-5 12th hole, where anyone could have won.

No one won the 12th, just like in the 9th, 10th, and 11th. That means the $1.6 million skin is still up for grabs.

The foursome then played a closest-to-the-pin game from 100 yards away on the 12th fairway. McIlroy put the heat on by going first and hitting his shot to four feet.

That meant McIlroy won The Match for the first time in his career, beating everyone else.
He didn’t play in this exhibition game since December 2022, when he and Tiger Woods lost to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 3–2.

Unfortunately, this version of The Match was probably the best one so far. It had great banter between the players and gave two of the biggest stars in women’s basketball a chance to show what they could do. In the years to come, we need more of this. Hopefully, Capital One and Turner Sports, which help put on The Match, will see this and bring golf fans more mixed events in the future.

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