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Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson top Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff in charity skins game

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson top Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff in charity skins game
Rory McIlroy made four birdies during the event, earning $150,000 for a separate charity fund from Farmers Insurance. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a coronavirus charity skins game Sunday at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., as live golf returned to television.

McIlroy delivered the winning shot in the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition, which raised more than $5 million for COVID-19 relief efforts.

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McIlroy and Johnson, who hadn't won a skin since the sixth hole, had an opportunity to win the last six skins worth $1.1 million on the final hole. Both players missed and they returned to the par-3 No. 17 hole for a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker.

From a forward tee 121 yards out, Wolff dropped his shot 18 feet below the hole. Fowler missed the green, while Johnson's shot landed in a bunker. On the fourth and final shot, McIlroy stayed on the shelf left of the pin and 13 feet away.

"I'm proud to be part of an event to entertain people at home on a Sunday afternoon and to raise money for people who need it," McIlroy said as he walked to the 18th hole.

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McIlroy and Johnson earned about $1.85 million for the American Nurses Foundation, while Fowler and Wolff totaled about $1.15 million for the CDC Foundation.

Wolff, 21, earned $450,000 toward coronavirus relief funds by recording the longest drives on two par 5s. He had a 356-yard drive on No. 2 and 368 yards on No. 14.

Fowler's seven birdies raised $270,000 in a separate fund from Farmers Insurance, while McIlroy's four totaled at $150,000. Wolff had three birdies for $135,000, and Johnson had one for $25,000.

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A skins game involves a player winning the monetary value of each hole that they win outright, not including ties. The hole value, which is also called a skin, carries over to the next hole each time players tie.

During the fan-free charity event, players carried their own bags and wore microphones. Television crews had limited personnel on the course, and Mark Russell, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competition, was the only one to handle the flagstick.

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In a telephone interview during the competition, President Donald Trump told NBC the return of golf and other sports around the United States is "important in terms of the psyche of our country."

The last live golf competition on television was the first round of The Players Championship on March 12. The tournament was canceled the next day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The next event is another exhibition match scheduled for May 24. The competition, dubbed as "Champions for Charity," will have Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning facing off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

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