Rory McIlroy outscored Tiger Woods for only the third time in 11 head-to-head encounters, winning their ‘Duel at Jinsha Lake’ in China with a five-under-par 67 to the American’s 68.
The world’s top two golfers met for a one-off match after competing in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.
McIlroy was runner-up to Ryder Cup team-mate Peter Hanson at the BMW Masters and Woods fourth behind compatriot Nick Watney in the CIMB Classic.
Three weeks after Woods defeated the 23-year-old by six strokes during the World Golf Finals in Turkey, it was McIlroy who always held the edge this time. He had two early birdies and turned two in front before Woods chipped in at the short 12th, but the winner of 14 majors bogeyed two holes later and could not get back on terms.
Neither player is staying on in the country for this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.
McIlroy, flying to Bulgaria to watch girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play tennis, plays at the Singapore Open next week, while Woods has one event left in 2012 – the World Challenge in California at the end of next month.
Sweden’s Hanson is up to a career-high 17th in the world after holding off McIlroy to win in Shanghai.
Hanson’s move up from 25th would have been even bigger but for the fact that American Watney won in Malaysia to improve from 22nd to 16th.
Leading world rankings: 1 R McIlroy 12.93pts, 2 T Woods 9.36, 3 L Donald 8.85, 4 L Westwood 6.72, 5 J Rose 6.29, 6 A Scott 5.97, 7 W Simpson 5.90, 8 B Watson 5.84, 9 B Snedeker 5.70, 10 J Dufner 5.69, 11 L Oosthuizen 5.55, 12 S Stricker 5.37, 13 M Kuchar 5.15, 14 K Bradley 5.14, 15 D Johnson 5.11, 16 N Watney 5.05, 17 P Hanson 4.91, 18 Z Johnson 4.85, 19 P Mickelson 4.84, 20 B Van Pelt 4.61. Others: 21 S Garcia, 22 G McDowell, 26 I Poulter, 27 P Lawrie, 30 C Pettersson. Yorkshire: 61 S Dyson, 95 D Willett.