Tiger Woods is well-positioned as he seeks his fourth Claret Jug.
Although the duo were kept apart during the singles at the Ryder Cup, they still saw plenty of each other at Medinah while they also went head-to-head in the exhibition World Golf Final in Turkey not long after.
While McIlroy and Europe came out tops at the Ryder Cup following their remarkable comeback from 10-6 down, Woods got one over the world number one in Turkey as he beat him by six strokes.
Woods, though, is looking forward to their next battle, an 18-hole medal match at Jinsha Lake in Zhengzhou on October 29.
"We've all seen how talented Rory is," said the 14-time major winner.
"It'll be fun to battle him for the next decade or so and hopefully we'll have many battles to come."
He added: "It's going to be a lot of fun going head to head with Rory. I enjoy head-to-head events so it's great to do this in China.
"China is a growing market and what they've done in golf over the past decade or so is incredible.
"China is young in golf terms but rising fast, especially with the sport joining the Olympics."
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