Originally created 05/08/99

Duval, Woods duel announced

David Duval and Tiger Woods won't have to meet in the final round of a major championship to provide the duel everyone wants to see.

International Management Group and ABC Sports plan to announce Monday an 18-hole exhibition match between Duval and Woods, which will be televised live in prime time Aug. 2 with a $1.5 million purse.

The match will take place at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., site of the Shark Shootout. The winner will get $1.1 million, although portions of the earnings will go toward the players' charity and The First Tee program.

"It's a good opportunity to show golf to a non-golf audience," said Charley Moore, Duval's agent at IMG. "This is a good rivalry that new golf fans can appreciate. Both are young and represent a good chunk of the future -- not that it couldn't be done with anyone else, but these guys happen to be the most dominant over the past two or three years."

Woods, who is also represented by IMG, made the biggest impact on the PGA Tour since Jack Nicklaus when he won six times in his first eight months, including a record-setting victory in the 1997 Masters.

He was No. 1 in the world for 41 consecutive weeks until Duval unseated him with the best stretch of golf in nearly 20 years.

Duval won the winners-only Mercedes Championship by nine strokes to start the year and followed that with the first final-round 59 in PGA Tour history to win the Bob Hope Classic. After a three-week break in March, he won The Players Championship and followed with another victory in Atlanta, becoming the first player since Johnny Miller in 1974 to win four times before the Masters.

The only thing that has been lacking is a head-to-head showdown.

They've never been paired in the final round of any event or challenged each other down the stretch. And neither is willing to admit a rivalry is brewing because of a crowded field of stars on tour, such as Ernie Els, Justin Leonard and Phil Mickelson.

Other rivalries over the years, such as Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and Nicklaus and Tom Watson, have developed on golf's biggest stage -- the major championships. Moore said the exhibition match was not an effort to manufacture one.

"I think you're overestimating what the effects of a single, 18-hole match would be," he said. "This is a one-shot deal, it won't be part of a series. It's a chance to show golf off."

While the PGA Tour cannot endorse the exhibition, it has agreed to give the players the television release they need. A spokesman for ABC Sports said the network wouldn't comment until Monday.


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