'The Rider Cup' - Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth in unique fairway duel
Published 20/01/2016 | 10:23
Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will go head to head in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, but the game's two biggest stars have already clashed off the course.
As part of the pre-tournament publicity, Spieth, McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson took part in a 'Rider Cup' challenge, which included riding motorised GolfBoards down the fairway.
"Actually Jordan nearly took me out, " said McIlroy, who famously injured his ankle playing football and was forced to miss the defence of his Open title at St Andrews last year. "We collided halfway down the fairway. Thankfully I didn't fall off.
"There was two settings on the GolfBoards. There's a high and a low. The low is six miles an hour and the high was at 14. So at the start, they were saying, okay, just put it on the low setting at six, and obviously didn't want us to go too fast. And when we actually needed to race, we all put it to high.
"It was quite competitive but it was really good fun. It was a nice way to start the week.
"You can't wrap yourself up in cotton wool all the time. That doesn't mean I'm going to step foot on a football pitch any time soon, but at the same time you can still do things and still enjoy your life."
World number one Spieth joked that the collision was not deliberate, adding: "He's one very good player that I could have taken out of the field!
"We were instructed to go through a pretty narrow gap and there was four of us on the GolfBoards. So Rickie and Henrik were out front and Rory and I were kind of going this way together and I kind of slowed down and bumped the back of his board. Fortunately his ankles stayed on the board, so that was nice.
"It was not deliberate. It was the first time I think for everybody on those boards. We're just happy that we're all standing today and ready to go."