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McIlroy Loses Again in Turkey; Third Round Washed Out
Rory McIlroy lost for the second straight time in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. After bowing to Matt Kuchar on Tuesday, the No. 1-ranked player in golf lost to Charl Schwartzel 70-71.
Wednesday's afternoon round was postponed until Thursday morning due to a massive thunderstorm that came through the area. McIlroy's originally scheduled match with Tiger Woods will take place then, weather permitting.
Woods beat Matt Kuchar 65-72 in the $5.2-million, eight-player exhibition at Atalya Golf Club. The winner will earn $1.5 million. The format is medal match play, with the winner of the individual matches having a lower score than his competitor.
The eight players are separated into two groups of four, with everyone playing each other in their group over the first two (now three) days. The leading two in each group advance to Thursday's semifinals, with the final on Friday.
McIlroy was hoping to relax Thursday morning, but instead will need to play two matches to get the tournament caught up. "It was actually a decent match," McIlroy said of his outing with Schwartzel, in which the Northern Irishman chipped on the 18th hole only to see the South African match his birdie with a 12-putt putt.
"I felt like I played a bit better today, had plenty of chances and just didn't really hole much," added McIlroy, who shot 76 to Kuchar's 70. "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."
Woods lost to Schwartzel Wednesday but beat Ryder Cup teammate Kuchar by five shots. "It felt good," said Woods of his round. "I didn't start great with a double-bogey on the second and a bogey on four, but after that I played well."
Justin Rose leads Group Two with a pair of wins after beating Lee Westwood (66 to 69). Webb Simpson and Westwood each have a point, while Hunter Mahan has lost both matches. Rose faces Simpson Thursday morning and Westwood takes on Mahan in that group's remaining matches.
Wins count as one point in each 18-hole contest, meaning all eight players still have a chance of reaching the semifinals.