It was a much-hyped meeting between two of golf's biggest names -- and the chaotically enthusiastic crowd in China were not let down by Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in a surreal showdown worth a reported $2 million.
Billed as the "Duel at Jinsha Lake," Monday's clash coincided with the launch of a multi-million-dollar housing project which is being built around the course in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.
Fans turned out in their thousands to witness the world's top two golfers -- one of them, Woods, the man largely responsible for the game's increased worldwide popularity, and the other, the 23-year-old McIlroy, its big hope for the future.
After banging a ceremonial Chinese gong and immortalizing their hand prints in clay, Woods and McIlroy took to a golf course where models dressed in evening wear inhabited the tees, a luxury yacht sailed across a lake and helicopters parked next to putting greens.
"Had a great time with @TigerWoods at Jinsha Lake in China today!" tweeted McIlroy, who carded a five under par 67, one fewer than his rival, to claim bragging rights.
"We both played well and hopefully the fans enjoyed it too!"
The pair used all their experience to play some impressive golf, despite the fact that many tee shots were accompanied by the endless clicking of dozens of cameras while security men struggled to hold back the fans on the fairways.
"This is certainly not like most Mondays," said Woods afterwards, smiling. "It's been a different one, hasn't it?"
"I wouldn't say it was crazy out there. The word I would use is 'enthusiastic'," said McIlroy. "It's good to see so many people out there. So many people that follow golf and want to watch us play. I hope that continues."
Many observers see China as the next market for golf to conquer, with an expanding, aspirational middle class taking up the game in significant numbers.
McIlroy came to Zhengzhou, a city of 10 million people, straight after finishing second at the European Tour's $7 million BMW Masters in Shanghai, a tournament he won last year.
Woods, who has won 14 major titles to his rival's two, traveled to China after finishing tied for fourth at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Sunday.