Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri, will host Payne's Valley Cup featuring a batlle between Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas vs. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose scheduled September 22. for an internationally televised match on NBC Network.

Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Mo., announced a golf match where Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas will prepare to take on European stars Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. The Payne’s Valley Cup will take place Sept. 22 and will serve as the official debut of Payne’s Valley, the first public-access course in the U.S. designed by Woods’ TGR Design. The match will be televised live across the globe on The Golf Channel from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Big Cedar Lodge has become a premier destination for golf by attracting some of the worlds’ leading course architects, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Tom Fazio, Gary Player, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Woods.

“The breathtaking beauty and pure majesty of my native Ozarks is something you have to see to believe. To be able to harness this unique landscape and make it come alive through our golf courses has been an honor that has been driven by passion,” said Johnny Morris, conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge. “Tiger and I have a 20-year friendship that started through fishing and has evolved into the great partnership that created Payne’s Valley. We look forward to showcasing this destination to the world through the Payne’s Valley Cup and truly believe we are creating ‘America’s Next Great Golf Destination.’”

Payne’s Valley is named in honor of Springfield, Mo., native Payne Stewart, a U.S. Open champion who was killed in a plane crash in 1999.

The course features an unforgettable par-3, 19th bonus hole designed by Johnny Morris to showcase the nature and beauty of the Ozarks. After completing the final hole, golfers depart the island green to journey along a breathtaking, cliff hanger nature trail and through a beautiful natural cave system to return to the clubhouse.

Payne’s Valley joins four existing and top-rated courses at the resort – Buffalo Ridge Springs (Tom Fazio), Ozarks National (Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw), Mountain Top (Gary Player) and Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus).

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at

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