Tiger and McIlroy to face Thomas and Spieth in December: reports

Tiger Woods, battling back from severe leg injuries suffered in a 2021 car crash, will join Rory McIlroy in a 12-hole December exhibition under the lights against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

Golf Digest and The Fried Egg reported Thursday that Woods, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, and four-time major winner McIlroy will meet three-time major winner Spieth and two-time major champion Thomas in a made-for-television event.

The December 10 showdown will be the seventh edition of "The Match" and mark the third appearance for Woods, whose 82 career PGA titles shares the all-time record with Sam Snead.

Woods played against Phil Mickelson in 2018 and in 2020 teamed with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning to defeat Mickelson and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady in a pairs matchup.

World number one McIlroy, Spieth and Thomas, who won his second PGA Championship in May at Southern Hills, will be making their first "Match" appearance.

The event is expected to be played at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, near Tampa with a 7 p.m. local start time.

The exhibition is set for the weekend before the PNC Championship in Orlando where Woods has played alongside his son Charlie in past years.

It also falls the weekend after Woods hosts the Hero World Challenge tournament in the Bahamas. While Woods is not set to play in that event, there are vacancies in the field that would allow him to join the lineup.

Woods, who needed screws and metal rods to hold together his shattered right leg, made his return to competition 14 months after the accident at this year's Masters, where he finished 47th and achieved a victory of sorts simply by walking 72 holes over the difficult layout.

Woods withdrew from the PGA Championship after 54 holes, struggling with stamina issues after making the cut. In July, Woods missed the cut at the British Open at St. Andrews in his most recent competitive start.

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