Even though we’ll have to wait till June for the PGA Tour to get going again, this weekend four of the best golf players will dust off their clubs in all aid of charity.

The TaylorMade Driving Relief skins match takes place at the beautiful Seminole Golf Club in Florida with the team of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson taking on Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in an event set up to raise money for charity. Here is our look ahead to the $3 million match.


The format means that each player will play his own ball, with each team counting the lowest score between the two players on each hole. McIlroy and Johnson will play for the American Nurses Foundation, while their opponents, Fowler and Wolff, will play for the CDC Foundation.

Rory and DJ the unsurprising favourites

Given they are currently ranked number one and number five in the world golf rankings, it’s unsurprising that McIlroy and Johnson are the favourites here. The pair have spoken of how well they get on and they were even keen to play in another pairs competition, so they clearly believe their games are well-suited. Both are among the best drivers of the ball and with players playing their own ball you can imagine that at least one will have a solid birdie chance on most holes.

Although it’s hard to know what sort of form both will be in, Rory hasn’t finished out of the top five in all four starts this season and was clearly in some of the best form of his life during the first part of the campaign. Johnson has been a bit more in-and-out but  he could be dangerous with so little pressure on him.

Break might be blessing in disguise for Fowler and Wolff

It’s been well-documented that Fowler hasn’t been his usual self for a while now and his form figures back that up. The American has just three top-10 finishes since last year’s Masters and his drop in form has seen him fall to 27 in the world rankings. Although he hasn’t got a below par record in the Ryder Cup, he’s performed pretty well at the Presidents Cup and has a positive record in the fourball format. One of the best putters going, if he can get his driver and iron-play back to somewhere near its best then he’ll give the favourites plenty to think about.

He teams up with world number 110 Wolff and although he’s by far the lowest ranked of the four participants he’s already a winner on the PGA Tour and has shown some handy form since..  Despite having not finished in the top 20 since the first tournament of the year, he’s a very good driver of the ball, but hasn’t quite backed that up with the other areas of his game so far this season and he’ll need to against as formidable a team as McIlroy and Johnson.

Underdogs look value to upset the applecart

Make no mistake, McIlroy and Johnson are by far the most likely winners here. They are two of a select few of golf’s elite and on form would be a match for anyone. However, with so little pressure on the Floridian duo,  they might just represent a bit of value, particularly if Fowler can get his long-game back to where it was 18 months or so ago. Wolff is just 21 and he could easily thrive at the thought of taking out two players of the calibre of Rory and Dustin.

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