Tour champion Rory McIlroy is the 2/1 betting favorite to win next week’s “The Challenge: Japan Skins” golf event against Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day in odds released Monday at the Westgate SuperBook.
The exhibition event will take place on Oct. 21 ahead of the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino C.C. in Chiba, Japan. The event will be televised by GolfTV at 12 a.m. ET on Oct. 21/11 p.m. CT on Oct. 20.
Matsuyama, who has the home-course advantage, is 5/2 and coming off a T16 showing at TPC Summerlin earlier this month in Las Vegas. McIlroy has also played recently since winning the Tour Championship, finishing T26 at a links event in Scotland.
Woods (3/1 odds) and Day (7/2) haven’t competed in a tournament since the FedEx Cup playoffs in August, but the skins game isn’t as much about about consistency as it is about capitalizing on high-risk shots.
The Challenge: Japan Skins rules, format
The winner of “The Challenge: Japan Skins” is the player who takes home the most money. Participants will be competing for a total purse of $350,000, with the first six holes worth $10,000, and hole values escalating to $100,000 on the final hole.
Holes 1-6: $10,000 per skin Holes 7-12: $15,000 per skin Holes 13-17: $20,000 per skin Hole 18: $100,000 super skin
A refresher on the skins format in golf: The player with the lowest score on the hole wins the skin for that hole. If there is no lowest player due to a tied for the low score on the hole – the skin (and prize money) is rolled over to the next hole.
Along with the skins format, a number of holes will include challenges with additional monetary value that support charity partners and add unconventional twists to the event, according to Golf Digest. Details of these challenges will be revealed during the live broadcast.
If no player wins the 18th hole outright, a sudden-death playoff for the value of the final skin will ensue (but the value will not multiply with each playoff hole).
“I’m a huge fan of the skins format. I love the way it rewards attacking play and think it suits my game quite well,” McIlroy said in a press release. “Any time I can go directly at pins to try and make birdies and eagles, I think it puts me at an advantage.”
“The other fun thing about skins is how you find yourself rooting for the other guys if you’re not in a position to win the hole. You’re hoping they can tie with someone else so you can play for that skin on the next hole. With the skins format, you’re always in it until the end.”
The Challenge: Japan Skins betting odds
Rory McIlroy 2/1 Hideki Matsuyama 5/2 Tiger Woods 3/1 Jason Day 7/2