Published: Tue, October 22, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tiger Woods reveals he planned surgery for end of 2018

Tiger Woods reveals he planned surgery for end of 2018

Jason Day won the Japan Skins game on Monday but the real victor was probably Tiger Woods, who reported a clean bill of health in his first competitive round since undergoing knee surgery two months ago.

Jason Day walked away as the big victor of the inaugural "The Challenge: Japan Skins" after claiming the lucrative final two holes of the four-person exhibition contest on Monday in Chiba, Japan.

The 12-time PGA Tour victor had entered the final hole with 7 skins ($110,000) and led the way by $50,000 over Woods (5 skins) and McIlroy (4 skins), while Matsuyama was $90,000 behind on $20,000 (1 skin).

Woods played a Skins competition on Monday alongside Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama.

"My short game is starting to come around; it was nice to be able to hole some putts coming down the stretch", Day said when asked what he could take out of a victory that has little relevance to his career. "The short game really showed up today, and that's usually the strength of my game".

"It (the return to fitness) made me more hopeful that I could play this week, play Hero (Challenge) and play Australia", he said.

"I did not play well at the beginning", Woods said. Apparently Tiger has played six skins matches himself, and he hasn't won one yet so I am one up on him which is good.

Duterte arrives in Japan for Emperor Naruhito's enthronement
The enthronement ceremony will take place at 1pm Japan Standard Time (1pm BST) at the Imperial Palace of Matsu no ma in Tokyo . Former Emperor Akihito and his wife will not attend the ceremony this week.

Rather, the former Ireland captain, a nine-handicapper, found the green with a well-struck tee-shot and rolled in the birdie putt to help Rory tie the hole.

"I'm excited about having this end-of-the-year run where I'm feeling fitter and I don't have the achiness that I've been dealing with for the last couple years". I think the back and forth was nice.

Matsuyama in fourth on $20,000.

The Challenge, which is the first skins game to take place on the Tour since 2008, is the prelude to Thursday's tournament, and it was knockabout stuff at the Narashino Country Club.

With the value of skins increasing as the round progressed, Day won $US210,000 (eight skins), while Woods (five skins) and McIlroy (four skins) each won $US60,000. Up until that point, all four players had a chance to win going into the final hole. Bryan Habana jumped on Hideki Matsuyama when the home favourite holed a lengthy birdie putt to match Jason Day and George Gregan, and he was soon matched with a big birdie putt from Brian O'Driscoll (in team McIlroy). Woods had five skins and $60,000 with McIlroy taking four and winning $60,000. A hole later, Mastuyama picked up his one and only skin of the tournament, and $20k, with birdie at the par-three 13th.

It was knockabout stuff with plenty of banter to entertain large galleries of Japan's golf-mad fans as the players tried to win holes outright for cash or "skins" worth anything from US$10,000 to US$100,000.

Still, with the final hole worth $100k each player still could have taken home the trophy, but Woods couldn't match a final hole birdie from Day and it was the Australian who nearly doubled his prize fund for victory.

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