— Instead of ending his year in the Bahamas, U.S. Open
champion Dustin Johnson is headed to the Philippines for an
18-hole match against Rory McIlroy geared toward raising
money for charity.
supposed to play Jason Day in an exhibition called
"Battle for a Cause" until Day cited a need for
rest to heal his ailing back.
gladly stepped in.
should be a lot of fun," Johnson said Wednesday at the
HSBC Champions. "I like playing against Rory, and I've
never been to the Philippines."
This is the
second attempt at a head-to-head exhibition for McIlroy this
year. He was planning to play Rickie Fowler in Detroit this
summer until a deal with sponsors fell through. This one was
set up on Nov. 29 with Day, the No. 1 player in the world
whose mother is from the Philippines and who had family
members perish in the 2013 typhoon.
O'Flaherty, who manages McIlroy, said the event would
include a gala dinner and an auction on Nov. 28, which
features bidding to be caddies for Johnson and McIlroy over
nine holes, along with other memorabilia. He said proceeds
would go mainly toward relief efforts from typhoons.
takes place at Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in
Johnson have played together in at least one round in three
of the four majors that McIlroy won — the 2011 U.S. Open,
2012 PGA Championship and 2014 British Open. Most recently,
McIlroy narrowly beat out Johnson for the FedEx Cup when he
won the Tour Championship in a playoff.
will be a cool match," McIlroy said. "I'm happy
that Dustin wanted to come and take part. Obviously, it was
going to be Jason, and it would have been special for him
with his ties to the Philippines. It's a place I've never
been. I've met a lot of Filipino people along the way that
are always nice and courteous and welcoming, and I'm looking
forward to that hospitality in Manila."
coming off his biggest year, capturing the U.S. Open at
Oakmont and winning PGA Tour player of the year, the money
title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring
said he would be giving up his spot in the Hero World
Challenge in the Bahamas, an 18-man field hosted by Tiger