McIlroy aims to knock Woods out of the reckoning

World No 1 on brink of elimination in the rain but can still stop Tiger at Turkish exhibition

Antalya

Rory McIlroy has a monsoon of Mancunian proportions to thank for denying him a day on the beach with the missus. Instead of rubbing factor 50 into the back of Caroline Wozniacki this morning, McIlroy must pick up the clubs at least one more time to meet the challenge of Tiger Woods and hope victory is enough to take him into the knockout stage of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Antalya.

Or maybe not. The numbers point to a date at the water's edge sooner rather than later for McIlroy, whatever the outcome against Woods, following the world No 1's second defeat in the round-robin stage to Charl Schwartzel. McIlroy improved on his opening-round loss to Matt Kuchar, shooting a level-par 71, but the South African birdied the last to render today's showpiece almost irrelevant.

Even were McIlroy to beat Woods, who eased past Kuchar with a five-under 67, the countback does not favour him. "I'll try to keep him out of those semi-finals. I'm sure that's not what the tournament wants but it's what I'm going to try to do," McIlroy said, in a none too convincing attempt at breathing life into his moribund Turkish campaign.

"It was actually a decent match," McIlroy added. "I felt like I played a bit better today, had plenty of chances and just didn't really hole much. I got off to a better start and then Charl birdied three of the last four so I couldn't really do much about that."

A win guarantees Woods' progress if the resurgent Schwartzel cleans up against Kuchar. Even if Kuchar prevails, it is a brave man that would bet against Woods going through, given a rules matrix that is almost impossible to unravel. In other words, put your money on the Turkish Airlines calculator finding in favour of the big ticket-seller.

Woods, who shot a four-under-par 67 to cruise past "Kooch" by five strokes, said he would be "going at it" against McIlroy no matter what the state of play. "It's the match-up the galleries want to see. I know it is only an exhibition match but I think we will both be going for it. No one wants to lose. I doubled two and bogeyed four this morning but after that I hit it pretty well."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

In the battle of the European Ryder Cup warriors, Justin Rose beat Lee Westwood by three strokes. A round of 66 was seven shots better than Rose's opening-day effort against Hunter Mahan and all but guaranteed progress to the knockout stage. "Lee's a great player," Rose said. "He kept the pressure on all the way. I putted much better today. The putts at 15 and 17 were crucial, really. This is not a tour event, but the field is high-class and I want to do well in it."

Following the success of this limited-field event, Turkey will feature for the first time next year on the main European Tour. The Turkish Open will debut as the penultimate event on the Race to Dubai schedule, boasting a $7m (£4.5m) prize fund.

World Golf Final: Details

Yesterday's results

Group One

C Schwartzel bt R McIlroy 70-71

T Woods bt M Kuchar 67-72

Group Two

J Rose bt L Westwood 66-69

W Simpson bt H Mahan 65-67

Today's matches

Group One

R McIlroy v T Woods

C Schwartzel v M Kuchar

Group Two

J Rose v W Simpson

L Westwood v H Mahan

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn