Rory McIlroy, Max Homa, Rose Zhang and Lexi Thompson to face off in The Match 2024 golf event

The Capital One Match is back, and for the first time, two female golfers will compete. LPGA superstars Rose Zhang and Lexi Thompson will compete against four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and six-time PGA Tour winner Max Homa in a 12-hole skins match at Park Golf Course on Monday, February 26. West Palm Beach, Florida.

Not only will this be the first edition of the match to feature LPGA players, but it will also be only the second edition to be held under lights. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Tiger Woods and McIlroy by nightfall in the seventh iteration of The Match at Pelican Golf Club in December 2022.

Unlike previous editions of The Match, which pitted team against team, this edition would be an individual competition. While there have been two head-to-head contests, there has never been a foursome to compete individually.

For the first time, the mixed event will feature a skins format where each hole will be worth a certain dollar amount for charity. All players will play from the same tees on the par 3s, with separate tee boxes being used on the remaining eight holes for men and women. Whichever golfer raises the most money for charity through winning skins will be crowned champion.

McIlroy is the only player of the four with The Match experience, and his first round did not end favourably. The 34-year-old lost 3 and 2 to Woods as well as Thomas and Spieth. He is likely to be the favorite to take home the belt, but it will have to be earned. Homa was recently added to similar competition at the Netflix Cup and will arrive in Florida fresh from the California swing on the PGA Tour.

Women can finally become the stars of the show. Zhang, 20, has taken the golf world by storm in her short time on the professional stage. Turning professional last May, the Stanford product won in her LPGA debut at the Mizuho U.S. Open, a win that came after winning the NCAA Division I individual title for the second consecutive year.

Thompson, meanwhile, is no stranger to taking it on with the men. Last fall he made history on the PGA Tour by playing in the Shriners Children’s Open. Narrowly escaped a cut. At that event, the 11-time LPGA winner and major champion proved her game was good enough to compete with her male counterparts.

Thompson and Zhang were both members of the US Solheim Cup team in Spain last year, while McIlroy and Homa face off at the Ryder Cup in Rome next week. Thompson and Zhang also recently played at the Grant Thornton Invitational where they teamed up with Rickie Fowler and Sahith Thegala respectively.

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