Oct 10 2012
Only a victory over Tiger Woods will keep Rory McIlroy's faint hopes of a 1.5million US dollars payday alive in the Turkish Airlines World Golf final - where all eight players could still qualify for the semi-finals.
World number one McIlroy chipped in for birdie on the final hole of his match with Charl Schwartzel this morning, only to see the former Masters champion follow him in from 12ft.
That meant a one-shot victory for the South African and a second straight defeat for McIlroy, who seemed unaware that he could still qualify for the last four, albeit with other matches and scores going in his favour.
"It looks like I'll get to spend a day on the beach tomorrow, which will be nice," said McIlroy, who has girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki with him in Antalya.
"It was actually a decent match. 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 Charl played solid and then birdied three of the last four so I couldn't really do much about that."
As for his match with Woods, which was delayed by an hour due to the threat of lightning, McIlroy added: "I'll try and 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."
Woods had lost to Schwartzel on Tuesday but beat Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar by five shots on Wednesday. Victories for Schwartzel and McIlroy in the afternoon would see Schwartzel through to the semi-finals on three points with McIlroy, Woods and Kuchar all on one point.
The lowest aggregate score for each player's three matches would then be used to break the tie, with one player joining Schwartzel in the last four.
The same scenario could also unfold in Group Two. Justin Rose is top with two points after beating Lee Westwood (66 to 69), with Webb Simpson joining Westwood on one point after beating Hunter Mahan.
Rose faces Simpson and Westwood takes on Mahan in the remaining matches.