Details of next month’s exhibition skins match in Japan that features Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day have finally come to light.
In a news release on Wednesday, the PGA Tour set the stage and the stakes of the exhibition that is scheduled to be held Monday, October 21st at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, the week of the Tour’s inaugural Zozo Championship.
Billed as “The Challenge: Japan Skins,” this event will be the first of what is expected to be an annual addition to “the global golf calendar.” This year’s iteration will offer up a $350,000 prize purse with $10,000 up for grabs on the first hole and increasing amounts throughout with the possibility of $100,000 available on the 18th hole.
“Alongside special in-match challenges and surprises, and finishing under floodlights, each hole will be assigned an increasing monetary value as the competition plays out,” the statement read. “Players need to win a hole outright to take a “skin” (tied holes result in a “push” of the skin to the next hole), so golf fans can expect to see aggressive play from start to finish.”
“After discussing ‘The Challenge’ with Discovery and GOLFTV, I wanted to be a part of it,” Woods said. “I haven’t been back to Japan since 2006 and the golf fans there are some of the best in the world. It’s a unique format and a top field with Rory, Jason and Hideki. I can’t wait to play against them on a global stage.
“I haven’t played a skins format in quite some time, so it will be fun to try something a little different and add a few strategic elements as we compete. There has already been some friendly banter between us and that will continue until we get to the first tee.”
“There are so many fun elements to ‘The Challenge’ that will have me wanting to take home that title – playing with Hideki on his home turf; Tiger coming back to Japan with a Green Jacket—the motivation is certainly there for me, and I’m a huge fan of the skins format,” McIlroy said. “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.
“The other fun thing about skins is how you find yourself rooting for the other guys if you’re not in a position to win the hole. You’re hoping they can tie with someone else so you can play for that skin on the next hole. With the skins format, you’re always in it until the end.”
GOLFTV will be broadcasting the Challenge for global audiences while Golf Channel will carry the coverage in the United States beginning at 12 a.m. EST on Oct. 21.