Tiger Woods bounced back from a disappointing Day 1 performance to defeat Matt Kuchar today at the World Golf Final, but weather did not allow him to carry his momentum into a showdown with Rory McIlroy.
In yesterday's loss to Charl Schwartzel, Woods faltered in the front nine before making a late surge to catch his opponent heading to the 18th hole. But a bogey to close out the day cost Woods a point.
Seemingly motivated from the disappointing defeat, Woods played an excellent round to start Day 2 of the tournament, which will award $1.5 million to the winner.
Woods shot a 67 at Antalya Golf Club in Turkey today, earning a victory over Kuchar and giving him a significantly better chance at advancing to the semifinals.
The only match in the group stage Woods has left to play is against Rory McIlroy. This clash between the world’s top-ranked golfers is certainly the marquee event of the tournament, but the drama was delayed a day by storms, as noted by PGA.com. The match is reset for Thursday.
McIlroy has not played well in Turkey thus far, losing both of his matches. He had a rough time on the back nine yesterday, hitting a triple bogey and two double bogeys, and ended up losing to Kuchar after shooting a 76.
Today, the young Northern Irishman lost to Schwartzel, who had three birdies in the final four holes to win 71-70.
Who will win the showdown between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy?
Through two of the three matches in Group A, Schwartzel is in the lead with two points from his two wins, while Woods and Kuchar each have a point apiece. McIlroy is at the bottom of the standings with no points.
But Woods is technically ahead of Kuchar due to a superior overall score in his two rounds thus far. Barring a spectacular performance from Kuchar, Woods would likely finish as one of the top two players in the group with a win over McIlroy, earning him a semifinal birth.
Given the form Woods displayed today, compared to McIlroy’s continued struggles, a sizable pay day is certainly within reach for the 14-time major winner.