Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy face off in secret ‘first major of the year’

A star-studded field of PGA Tour players, businessmen and celebrities will play in the Seminole Pro-Member on Monday, which has been dubbed ‘the first major of the year’

 

 

The unofficial first “major” of the golf season takes place on Monday with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in the field, but you have probably never heard of the event.

 

Woods and McIlroy will be among dozens of PGA Tour players in the field for the Seminole Pro-Member at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, where they will be paired with billionaire businessmen, celebrities and some of the biggest movers and shakers in the game of golf.

 

 

Woods is paired with PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in the 7.45am ET tee time, playing alongside Justin Thomas and his partner, tech billionaire Mike Walrath. McIlroy is playing with his father, Gerry, and the pairing of Padraig Harrington and PGA Tour chairman Ed Herlihy at 8.32am.

 

The Seminole Pro-Member is one of the most exclusive events in the game of golf, played at one of America’s most prestigious courses. Davis Love, a 21-time winner on the PGA Tour, once described the event as “the first major of the year”, with Seminole members getting the chance to play alongside many of the best players on the planet.

 

 

Seminole has similarly strict membership rules to Augusta National, but unlike the home of The Masters, there is an added layer of mystique, with very few televised events being held at the course. Off the gold tees, it is a 6,836-yard par-72 layout.

 

The course was designed by the revered Donald Ross and opened in 1929. It is peppered with bunkers and borders the coast, bringing wind into play. The greens are rated among the fastest in the world, providing a major championship-esque test to the professionals teeing it up.

 

The tournament is made up of 90 pairings playing the better-ball format, with leaderboards for gross and net titles. Thomas and Walrwath won the gross title with an impressive score of 63 in 2023, while Jim Davis and Brendan Todd romped to the net title with a score of 60, three shots clear of the McIlroys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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