Inzai, Japan — Not only did Jason Day win the inaugural “The Challenge: Japan Skins” game on Monday, beating Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama, he also won the needling contest.
Turning to Woods after receiving the trophy, Day asked how many similar events Woods had played in.
“Tiger, this is what —your fifth of sixth?”
Before Woods could reply, Day supplied the rejoinder.
“He hasn’t won one yet. I found that out today when he told me.”
Woods and everyone else laughed, which captured the lighthearted day at the Narashino Country Club, where the made-for-TV skins game finished under floodlights on the 17th and 18th holes.
“First time I’ve ever finished under lights, so that was exciting,” Day said, surprised the sun goes down about 5 p.m. in the fall in the Tokyo area.
Day won eight skins and $210,000. Woods had five skins and $60,000 with McIlroy taking four and winning $60,000. Matsuyama won only one skin and $20,000.
“I’m disappointed I had only one,” Matsuyama said, speaking through an interpreter and also getting a laugh.
It was Woods’ first event after surgery two months ago, the fifth on his left knee. He’ll get a stiffer test at the Zozo Championship that opens Thursday — the first-ever full PGA Tour event in Japan.
Woods said it was great “just being able to compete again. I haven’t done this in a little bit now.”
“I did not play well at the beginning,” he said. “I hit a lot of bad shots and did not putt well. Once I got into the flow of competing and feeling the round, it just got exciting. We were competitive, the banter was great, the back and forth.”
Woods, who had a hand in organizing the event, said he hoped “we were entertaining everyone and everyone who’s watching had a good time.”
On No. 4, Woods seemed to try to take advantage of the fact the Narashino Country Club has two greens on every hole. It’s a tradition at some courses in Japan, alternating greens to keep them both in good shape.
Woods hit a shot between two greens and Day got on him.
“I asked him (Tiger) to let me know which green he was going for,” Day said. “But he was in between so I still don’t know which one he was going for.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez tied the course record with a 9-under 63 on Monday to win the rain-delayed Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the opening event of the PGA Tour Champions’ three-tournament Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.
Jimenez made nine birdies on the County Club of Virginia’s James River course and beat second round co-leader Tommy Tolles by two shots. Tolles made an eagle on the par-5 last hole to finish at 4 under and beat Colin Montgomerie by one shot and earn a spot in the second event in the playoffs.
Tom Gillis (Lake Orion) shot 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for 25th.