McIlroy, Tiger matchup loses fizz after losses

BERNIE MCGUIRE
Last updated 10:17 10/10/2012
Rory McIlroy
Reuters
HOT SHOT: Rory McIlroy shot a 7-under-par 65 to be second after two rounds of the BMW Masters in Shanghai.

Relevant offers

Golf

Steven Alker fades badly on final day of the PGA Tour's Humana Challenge Levin’s Tyler Hodge one shot away from winning Australian amateur golf title Bill Haas survives final hole scare to win Humana Challenge in California Dustin Johnson set for PGA Tour return Steven Alker on track for handy PGA Tour pay day Phil Mickelson squanders chance to shoot low at Humana Challenge Branden Grace double in Race to Dubai with Qatar Masters win Branden Grace claims second title of season at Qatar Masters Kiwi golfers set to make the cut in PGA Tour event Foursome tied atop Qatar Masters leaderboard

The anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods may not count for much after both lost their opening matches at the eight-player World Golf Finals.

McIlroy lost to Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to Charl Schwartzel by one shot today in the $US5.2 million ($NZ6.4 million) event at the Sultan course in Antalya.

In the other group of the medal match-play format, Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose defeated Hunter Mahan by four strokes.

McIlroy and Woods - ranked No 1 and No 2 - face each other Wednesday in the last of their three group matches, but both could already be eliminated by then. The top two in each group will advance to the semifinals.

In tomorrow's morning matches, McIlroy will face Schwartzel and Woods will play Kuchar.

Woods and Schwartzel were all-square going to the 18th when the American went into a greenside bunker and finished with a bogey.

"It came right down to the wire, but I can't believe how far that second shot flew into the back bunker and that was the match," Woods said. "'It means now that I have to play 'Kooch' and try and win that match before facing Rory in the afternoon."

McIlroy unraveled against Kuchar with a triple bogey at the 15th hole and double bogeys at 16 and 17.

"I hit a drive into the trees on 15 and lost a bit of confidence," McIlroy said. "I need to win both of my matches tomorrow if I am to advance. I just struggled for a bit of motivation out there, so I need to go out and concentrate on both of my matches tomorrow."

Kuchar, after taking a bogey at the first, birdied the next two holes and was never behind.

"I just thought I had to play mistake-free, and hopefully Rory wouldn't get too hot," the American said. "There we are all-square with four to go, he hits it right and makes triple bogey, and I go three up with three to go and I think both of us lost a little interest at that point."

The event allows players to wear shorts, and Westwood, Schwartzel, Mahan and Kuchar chose to do so. All but Mahan won their matches. Westwood wore a red shirt and white shorts in tribute to his favorite soccer club, Nottingham Forest.

"Them are footballers legs," Westwood said. "I could still play for Forest with these legs."

Kuchar said he was happy to wear shorts again. He spent the week after the Ryder Cup loss to the European with his family in Greece.

Ad Feedback

"Being able to come to an event like this that is a little more relaxed is just great to be able to throw shorts on," he said.

The winner of the event, sponsored by Turkish Airways, will receive $US1.5 million ($NZ1.8 million).

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content