Westwood and McIlroy set up their showdown

 

Dove Mountain

No time to dawdle over the roast beef lunch. The dog will have to walk itself. And you may need to draw the curtains. This is going to be tasty. Settle back in your sofa for Rory McIlroy versus Lee Westwood. And this time, it's personal.

"It's the match I wanted. It's the match everybody else wanted. And I look forward to seeing him on the first tee," McIlroy said after seeing off Sang-Moon Bae 3&2. Westwood beat Scotland's Martin Laird 4&2.

Choose your weapon, gentlemen, please for the Gunfight at the UK Coral. There has been a frosty relationship bubbling beneath the surface between McIlroy and Westwood ever since last year's Masters. While McIlroy was suffering his Sunday meltdown, Westwood, some thought ungraciously, was not shy in pointing out that McIloy had a hook in his locker when he came under pressure. Many saw their clash of egos as one of the main reasons McIlroy left Chubby Chandler's stable earlier this year.

McIloy did his best to play down any suggestion that this will be a revenge duel in the desert. "We obviously don't spend as much time together as we used to and he is a rival, a guy who you have to beat, but it's totally fine. There's no ill feeling."

Westwood, too, said everything is fine and dandy but he didn't stop there. "Rory doesn't want to spend time with the people who manage me. And I don't want to spend time with the people who manage Rory," he said. Ouch. Take THAT.

One of them will have the chance to advance to the final and victory there will see them crowned World No 1. Westwood, of course, has already been at the summit. But for McIlroy it is uncharted territory. "The chance to go to No 1 gives the match a little bit of extra spice and edge," McIlroy said. As if there weren't enough already.

So much for Westwood's fast start plan. He lost the first hole to a Laird birdie to go behind for the first time in any match all week. He stayed stuck in neutral until the sixth when he went on a run of winning four out of the next five holes while only needing one birdie to sprint away to 3up. Laird was giving away holes to pars. The Scot pretty much punched himself out of the contest at the 14th needing three swipes to escape the sand – just a simple bunker.

McIlroy, however, got off to the perfect start. Which is just as well if you are going to dress like a tangerine. He peeled off a birdie but a bogey at the third left a nasty acid taste in his mouth. He can thank the eejit who yelled, "Get in the hole," as McIlroy sent his tee shot arcing towards the par three. It got in the hole, all right. The big one filled with water. Someone should have chucked the eejit into one of those prickly cholla bushes. Bae stayed in touch with McIlroy until the 10th but then the Northern Irishman began to put the squeeze on. Bae made a mess of the 14th and the match was over two holes later.

Meanwhile, the United States are guaranteed a representative in the final. Hunter Mahan plays Mark Wilson in the other semi-final. But no one will be watching, will they?

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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate