PGA Tour

McIlroy-Fowler Detroit exhibition match canceled

Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler
Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler ( Getty Images )

Monday, March 28, 2016

We got a titanic Jason Day-Rory McIlroy matchup at the WGC-Dell Match Play, but a scheduled Rory-Rickie duel is no more.

The previously reported head-to-head exhibition match between McIlroy and Rickie Fowler that looked primed to take place at Detroit Golf Club on June 7 has been officially canceled.

Members of the layout learned on Friday that the proposed event between the World Nos. 3 and 5 fizzled out. Last month, the pair had been looking to finalize the primetime matchup, but negotiations between Quicken Loans, the event's sponsor, and the participants didn't work out.

“We were informed ... that due to circumstances beyond our control the proposed event featuring Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler that was to be played at the Detroit Golf Club will not be happening,” Detroit Golf Club president Owen Nagy said in a statement. “This is obviously disappointing news for all of us at Detroit Golf Club. I’d like to thank all of our members whom were involved and (club executive) Michael Strain for their efforts over the past months to do our part, as the venue, to try to make the event happen.

"Unfortunately, as the venue, we had no influence in the discussions or any decisions that were made relative to finalizing the agreements for the proposed event.”

The exhibition was billed as a team event, with one celebrity joining Fowler and another joining McIlroy. Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg were under consideration for those celebrity spots. Golf Channel and CBS had been on board to televise the nighttime event, to have been played beneath portable lights.

The PGA Tour has not been present in Michigan since the Buick Open closed shop in 2009. High-stakes amateur golf will take place at Oakland Hills Country Club (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) at the U.S. Amateur this summer, but of course two of the world's top 5 professional golfers will not be competing.

We're probably not the only ones disappointed that this head-to-head couldn't come together. Then again, Fowler and McIlroy had a pretty good battle in competition themselves earlier this year in Abu Dhabi.

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