World number one Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will team up to play Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a special charity event TaylorMade Driving Relief on May 17.
The quartet, who all use TaylorMade golf equipment, will raise funds for coronavirus charities when they clash at at Seminole Golf Club in Florida later this month.
TaylorMade announced the TaylorMade Driving Relief event with a social media post: “We’re in this together. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff are headlining TaylorMade #DrivingRelief, a charity skins match to raise money for organizations leading the COVID-19 relief efforts.”
It will be staged in association with the UnitedHealth Group, which has pledged $3 million in support of the American Nurses Foundation and CDC Foundation, and comes after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson committed to The Match: Champions For Charity along with NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Farmers Insurance has also promised $1 million for a birdies-and-eagle pool during the one-off event.
TaylorMade Driving Relief Format
The pairs skins match up will be broadcast live in the United Kingdom and United States, giving fans starved of golf something to cheer ahead of the planned return of the PGA Tour in June.
McIlroy, Johnson, Fowler and Wolff will all adhere to strict social distancing rules during the event.
McIlroy and Johnson will be playing for the American Nurses Foundation and Fowler and Wolff will be playing for the CDC Foundation.
“We are excited about the safe and responsible return of live golf and the opportunity to raise significant funds for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic through the TaylorMade Driving Relief event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement.
“With four of the PGA TOUR’s top stars in Rory, Rickie, Dustin and Matthew of Team TaylorMade participating and UnitedHealth Group serving as the foundation of charitable giving, and Farmers Insurance providing an additional bonus pool, golf fans around the world can look forward to a unique, interactive and entertaining event that will help those in need.”
What the players said:
McIlroy said: “It’s been difficult to witness what so many are enduring over the last several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m excited and thankful to TaylorMade and UnitedHealth Group for making this event possible and providing us with the opportunity to show our support of those on the frontlines. I hope that we can provide some respite and entertainment for those tuning in across the globe. Dustin and I will have a lot of fun together and our games will fit well as we push to raise funds and awareness on May 17.”
Johnson said: “I’m really excited to team up with Rory and to get back out on the golf course. Seminole is a great venue and it will be cool to show it to the world through this event. I’m sure Rickie and Matthew will be ready for us, but hopefully Rory and I can take them and help generate a lot of money and support for charities and those affected most by COVID-19.”
Fowler said: “When I heard about this event, I couldn’t get involved fast enough. It’s special to be able to have an impact and raise charitable contributions through our sport and to do it with Matthew as a partner. I know how much I have missed sports and golf, especially, so to be one of the first events returning to television is very exciting and I’m proud to have Farmers, one of my sponsors, be a partner of this event as well. Playing aggressive has never been a problem for Matthew and me so we should have no issue testing the birdies-and-eagles bonus pool that has been backed by Farmers Insurance $1 million pledge.”
Wolff said: “I’m fired up to play alongside Rickie and raise money to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts. Rory and DJ have welcomed me to team TaylorMade with open arms and become great friends so I can’t wait for a fun competition against us Cowboys. Rickie and I are ready to bring our best and more importantly help the frontline heroes getting us through this extremely difficult time. Special thanks to the PGA Tour, NBC, Taylormade and all our partners for the opportunity. See you at Seminole!”