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Tiger & Rory Lose Opening Matches in Turkey
Tiger Woods couldn't overcome a triple-bogey on the ninth hole and lost his opening-round match to Charl Schwartzel by a stroke at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Turkey.
The $5.2-million, eight-player exhibition is being played at the 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 days. The leading two in each group advance to Thursday's semifinals, with the final on Friday.
In one group of four, Woods shot a 70 to Schwartzel's 69. No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy also lost his match to Matt Kuchar by a score of 76-70. Woods will play Kuchar Wednesday morning and McIlroy Wednesday afternoon.
In the other four-player group, Justin Rose defeated Hunter Mahan and Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson in the first round.
McIlroy admitted to some rustiness; he hadn't touched a golf club since the 2012 Ryder Cup two weeks ago. He was only two shots down before posting a triple-bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey starting on the 15th hole to lose by six shots.
"If it was a different format and a different tournament it might not have got as out of control as it did, but that's just the way it is," said the 23-year-old Northern Irishman, who helped the European team retain the Ryder Cup.
"But it's fine. I know what I need to do tomorrow. I need to go out and win both of my matches and see if that's good enough. In a way it could be a blessing that I'm not complacent and I go out and give it my best."
During a press conference on Monday in Turkey, Woods admitted he played a key role in the Americans' loss in the Ryder Cup. The Yanks enjoyed a 10-6 lead heading into the singles matches but collapsed on Sunday and lost to the Euros by a margin of 14½ to 13½. "I had an opportunity to earn three points in team sessions and didn't do that," he said.
"My point [in the singles] didn't matter when all was said and done. Steve Stricker and I were sent out to win points and we didn't do it. That was frustrating.
"It has been difficult, there is no doubt," Woods added. "We held a great lead and couldn't manage to win from a perfect position going into Sunday. That was tough. Some guys were pretty bummed out by what happened. We had guys out early on Sunday to get points and that didn't happen. It was then left to us at the back, but it came down to the situation where my point didn't matter. It was a tough situation, no doubt."