HAIKOU, China, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What happens when you combine golf's world no. 1 with his heir apparent, the heir apparent's heir apparent, solar-powered golf carts, 15,000 acres of lava fields, tropical climes, 120 junior golfers, 20,000 spectators, a bit of Chinese numerology and healthy dose of dragons, tigers and snakes? You get The Match at Mission Hills, contested here on Monday at Mission Hills Resort Haikou.
Indeed, The Match at Mission Hills did bring together three separate generations of golfers Tiger, Rory and Guan Tianlang.
- Tiger Woods is nearly 40 years old and North American, with 14 Majors under his belt.
- Rory McIlroy is his Irish heir apparent, just 24 and representing the European sphere.
- Guan Tianlang is fully 10 years younger than Rory and represents Asia, in general, and China in particular.
The Mission Hills Group is owned by two brothers, Chairman Ken Chu and Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu.
"Have you seen the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?" Dr. Ken Chu said to Woods. "Your name is Tiger, I was born in the year of Tiger, so we're Tigers.
"And Rory, you're born in the year of snake, so snake in Chinese is known as dragon -- and Tenniel was born in the year of dragon. So that's where we have something in common. It's the crouching Tiger and flying Dragon."
Ken Chu noted that it's been 12 years since Tiger's last visit to Mission Hills, which was Woods' first-ever visit to China invited by Mission Hills' late founder, Dr. David Chu.
"Twelve is a very meaningful, very special number to Chinese," he explained. "There's 12 hours in a clock, 12 months in a year, 12 zodiacs, 12 animals in the Chinese calendar year, as well. So 12, it's a complete circle. We are very proud, very honored to play host to your very first visit to China, and after 12 years, also playing host to your first visit to Hainan Island. So it's a wonderful relationship that we have had, created, and thank you for all your support of China golf development. We appreciate it."
SOURCE Mission Hills China