INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) – Jason Day not only won the inaugural game “The Challenge: Japan Skins” on Monday, beating Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama, he also won the needle contest.
Turning to Woods after receiving the trophy, Day asked how many similar events the Woods had attended.
"Tiger, is that what – your fifth of sixth?"
Before Woods could answer, Day provided the rejoinder.
"He hasn't won one yet. I found that out today when he told me.
Woods and everyone else laughed, which captured the joyous day at Narashino Country Club, where the game of skins made for TV ended up in the 17 and 18-hole spotlight.
"The first time I was done under lights, so it was exciting," said Day, surprised by the sunset around 5 pm. in the fall in the Tokyo area.
Day won eight skins and $ 210,000. Woods had five skins and $ 60,000, with McIlroy taking four and winning $ 60,000. Matsuyama won only one skin and $ 20,000.
"I'm disappointed to have only one," said Matsuyama, speaking through an interpreter and laughing.
It was Woods' first post-surgery event two months ago, the fifth in his left knee. He will take a tougher test at the Zozo Championship, which opens Thursday – the first full PGA Tour event in Japan.
Wood said it was great “just to be able to compete again. I won't do that in a moment now. "
By his own assessment, he began very slowly.
"I didn't play well at first," he said. “I made a lot of bad shots and I didn't do well. Once I got into the flow of competing and feeling the round, it got exciting. We were competitive, the games were great, from side to side. "
Woods, who helped in organizing the event, said he hoped "we were entertaining everyone who was watching to have fun."
They probably did.
At number 4, Woods seemed to be trying to take advantage of the fact that Narashino Country Club had two greens in each hole. It's a tradition in some courses in Japan, alternating greens to keep both in good shape.
Woods hit a shot between two greens and Day hit him.
"I asked him (Tiger) to let me know which green he was wearing," said Day. "But he was in the middle, so I still don't know who he was going to."
"I hit the greens so it looked like I kind of didn't know what I was doing," he said.
Both # 4 greens will be used this week in the tournament. A hole will be cut in each one and players will choose who to play with.
Narashino club is located about 50 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, in Chiba prefecture. The course for the Tokyo Olympics next year will be at Kasumigaseki Country Club in neighboring Saitama prefecture.
Four famous rugby players really got the match in 7th place when they joined the pros through a hole.
Matsuyama dropped a 35-foot shot and was hugged by his teammate – former South African rugby player Bryan Habana. The 100-pound Habana nearly crushed Mastuyama as he shouted, "This is my partner."
Seconds later, former Irish rugby player Brian O'Driscoll hid another long shot, matching Matsuyama's birdie. Jason Day hid another shorter bird shot.
Walking on a path, McIlroy was questioned by a TV interviewer about Brooks Koepka's comments about the Irishman's game.
Koepka said last week, "Rory hasn't graduated since I'm on tour, so I don't see it as a rivalry."
McIlroy last won in 2014 at the PGA Championship.
McIlroy said Koepka "wasn't wrong. He's been the best player in the world for the last two years. Four majors. I don't think he needed to remind me that I haven't won in a while. And I love Brooks. He's a nice guy; obviously super competitive as we all are. I can see where he comes from.
McIlroy then paused and added, "I think this is good for the game, and I think if you take what Brooks said out of context – it could become that big problem. Brooks and I are good. We're good friends. . "
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