Rory McIlroy beats Tiger Woods by a stroke in China, takes $1.5 million

Tiger Woods lost to Rory McIlroy in China on Monday. (USATSI)
Tiger Woods lost to Rory McIlroy in China on Monday. (Getty Images)

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Ernie Els once famously referred to this time of the year as the "Wheelbarrow Tour" for professional golfers.

What he meant by that was that after the PGA Tour and European Tour are completed you should start globehopping to the locations that will pay you the most for showing up.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy embodied that quite wonderfully on Monday at Mission Hills Golf Club in China.

According to the Telegraph, Woods and McIlroy took home $3.5 million combined for just showing up to their 1-on-1 match with Woods taking the lion's share at $2 million.

To put that in perspective -- McIlroy only earned $1.8 million this season on the PGA Tour in 16 events.

Wheelbarrow time, indeed.

Maybe that's why the two were so talkative throughout the the round. Woods even said afterward "it was fun" which might be the first time he's ever uttered that on a golf course. $2 million will do that to a person.

As for the actual golf -- McIlroy took down Woods for the second straight year with a 6-under 67. Woods shot a 5-under 68.

The two were tied on the 17th hole before Tiger missed his par putt and went bogey-birdie on the last two holes. McIlroy went par-birdie for the win.

Woods noted after the round that he can't seem to get the best of McIlroy in these 1-on-1 matches in China after losing by one last year as well.

"He schooled me twice," Woods said.

"Well I don't know about that, I beat you by one shot twice," replied McIlroy. "You schooled me this year."

These made-for-TV events are a little bit (ok, a lot) silly, especially when you can't watch them on TV in the US but as Stephanie Wei displayed on her Twitter feed, the crowds were borderline insane at Mission Hills.

However, the mass of people didn't deter the two golfers from having a lively time and playing some pretty decent golf -- a combined 11 under score isn't bad, especially for Woods who was dealing with ahead cold.

"I enjoyed it. We didn't play probably our best on the front nine but on the back nine we got it going," Woods said.

McIlroy took it a step further as he joked about the "Wheelbarrow Tour" after besting his buddy for the second straight year.

"I'd like to play all our tourneys in China, so I can beat (Tiger) all the time!"

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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