The tournament is being played at Antalya Golf Club in Turkey, and Woods is one of eight players competing in the exhibition. $1.5 million will be awarded to the winner, and a total of $5.2 million in prize money will be handed out, according to the event's official website.
Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar join Woods and Schwartzel in one group, while the other set of players consists of Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Lee Westwood and Webb Simpson.
The players face each member of their group, and a victory is worth one point, while a tie is worth a half-point. The top two scorers from each group advance to the semifinals.
Woods’ performance certainly does not bode well for his chances at moving on to the next round. He shot a 70 on his first time through the course, while Schwartzel edged him out with a score of 69.
The lowlight of the day came on the ninth hole, which Woods triple-bogeyed. Even in an exhibition, it is surprising to see “Woods” and “triple bogey” in the same sentence.
He was able to rebound from that blunder to play well on the back nine. He made a late surge with birdies on both the 16th and 17th holes to tie the score heading to the 18th. But he then made his most costly mistake of the round, bogeying the final hole and losing the match by a stroke.
The main draw of this tournament is an upcoming match between Woods and McIlroy. But the match between golf’s two top-ranked players may end up being meaningless within the scope of the competition, as McIlroy performed poorly today as well.
He shot a 76, which included a triple bogey and two double bogeys on successive holes, and lost to Matt Kuchar.
The two superstars will play each other on Wednesday in the final match of group play.