Jason Day has won The Skins Challenge in Japan – a made for TV event featuring Day, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and local Hideki Matsuyama.
Skins is an event that allocates prize money to each hole, usually increasing in value as the round progresses. To win a skin (or a hole) a player must have the outright best score or if there’s a tie, the skin carries over to the following hole. The game can get really exciting when several holes are tied, making for a huge pot to be won on an individual hole. Sometimes competitors can be putting for hundreds of thousands.
Australian Jason Day was crowned the inaugural MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins champion after a thrilling climax Produced by GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR and streamed to fans across the globe, Day claimed four skins in what proved to be a pivotal 17th hole to see off the challenge of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and local favourite Hideki Matsuyama in front of more than 2,000 fans at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan.
Day, winner of the 2015 PGA Championship, said: “The event was great. I think the back and forth was nice. Hopefully the fans all around the world enjoyed the banter. Overall, it was a brilliant afternoon / evening. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever finished under lights so that was exciting. I haven’t actually watched a skins game before. Apparently Tiger has played six skins matches himself, and he hasn’t won one yet so I am one up on him which is good! This is nice, it was clean, within the game and we had fun out there. Hopefully I get the invite back next year.”
Alex Kaplan, President & General Manager Discovery Golf, commented: “We really wanted to bring something fresh and fun and I think it’s been a fantastic event with really memorable moments for everyone. We’re really excited by the response from fans and the players and look forward to making it even bigger and better next time.”
GOLFTV collaborated with FedEx and Discovery Inc. to support a number of charities during the event based around a series of challenge holes. FedEx will make a charitable donation for The Challenge: Japan Skins to International Youth Foundation and International Medical Corps. Throughout the event, Discovery supported Save the Children as part of its RISE initiative.
MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins Highlights
After the first two holes are halved, Aussie Jason Day claims the first three skins and captures the first $30,000US to take the early advantage.
The first ‘Challenge’ hole – The Double Green Challenge – gives each of the four players the chance to pick one of two greens to hit too - the winner to take $100k donated to Save The Children, supplied by Discovery Rise. The hole is halved.
When rugby meets golf. Four rugby legends - Mike Tindall (partnered with Tiger Woods), George Gregan (with Jason Day), Brian O'Driscoll (with Rory McIlroy) and Bryan Habana (with Hideki Matsuyama) – took on the second ‘Challenge’ of the day, the par 3 7th hole. Every team birdies and the hole is halved and there are some wild celebrations on the green.
Golf greats Tiger Woods - who leads the event with $60,000 after taking three skins on the 8th hole - and Rory McIlroy give viewers watching on GOLFTV an incredible insight into their respective playing strategies on the fairway of the 9th.
Rory McIlroy hits a superb approach shot on his way to a birdie and first three skins. The Irishman now ties for the lead alongside Tiger Woods with $60,000.
McIlroy spoke to GOLFTV on the fairway of the 12th to address recent comments made by American Brooks Koepka on the subject of rivalries.
The third and final challenge of the day saw the four players take on the One Club Challenge. The hole is halved but co-leader Rory McIlroy is talked out of his using his five-wood on the par 5 608-yard hole by his opponents!
Jason Day hits the ball out of the bunker with a long iron.
After three consecutive halved holes, Australian Jason Day pars the 18th to claim four skins – worth $80,000 – dramatically moving to the top of the leaderboard ahead of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy with one to play.
A tied hole on the last means Jason Day ends The Challenge: Japan Skins on $210,000, having won eight skins during the course of the day.
Jason Day (Aus) Skins won 8, $210,000 USD
Tiger Woods (USA) Skins won 5, $60,000
Rory McIlroy (Irl) Skins won 4, $60,000
Hideki Matusyama (Jap) Skins won 1, $20,000
Fans in Australia can watch a full replay of the event for free by registering with GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR (outside of the U.S.) and visiting the challenge.golf.tv (https://challenge.golf.tv).