Haikou, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Rory McIlroy carded a 6-under 67 on Monday to beat Tiger Woods by one stroke in the Match at Mission Hills on the par-73 Blackstone Course.
McIlroy got off to a fast start as he birdied the first two holes, but Woods responded with birdies on the third and fourth to square things up. McIlroy missed the green at the par-3 fifth.
The two-time major champion chipped on, but 3-putted for double-bogey to fall two back. McIlroy bounced back with a birdie on No. 6, while Woods hit his tee shot way right and had to punch out.
That led to a bogey for Woods, which left the pair tied at 1-under. McIlroy fell to even-par as he tripped to a bogey on the seventh. Woods bogeyed the eighth, but came back with a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn with a 1-shot lead.
The duo both made eagle on the par-5 12th, and each followed with birdies at 13. McIlroy continued to roll as he birdied the 14th to square the match. They both got up and down for birdie on the driveable par-4 16th to remain tied at minus-5.
Woods came up short at No. 17. After nearly holing his chip shot, Woods left his par-saving putt short and slip one behind heading to the par-5 18th.
The pair both found the final green in two shots and McIlroy missed his eagle effort first. Woods needed to make his eagle try to tie McIlroy, but failed to do so. Both tapped in for birdie to give McIlroy the match for the second straight year.
"I've seen a lot of promising signs over the past few weeks in practice and also in competitive play. I still have four tournaments left until the end of the season and I would love to finish 2013 strongly and get a little bit of momentum going into next season," McIlroy explained.
Woods, who battled a fever through the match, stated, "I don't sound all that well now, but it was nice that it was warm out there today. That certainly helped because I think my fever broke and I can start feeling a bit better. But I tell you what, when you have kids, they bring home some strong bugs, and this one has definitely been kicking my behind for the last couple of days."