McIlroy to face Woods in Turkey
Published 08/10/2012 | 17:02
The one thing lacking from the sensational Ryder Cup at Medinah will take place in Turkey this week, with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods facing each other at least once in the battle for a first prize of £935,000.
McIlroy and Woods, the world's top two players and biggest attractions, were kept apart for the second Ryder Cup in succession in Chicago, despite the Northern Irishman playing in all five sessions as Europe staged a stunning fightback to retain the trophy.
However, the duo have been drawn in the same group at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, a new eight-man event which is not part of the European Tour but features a total purse of £3.2million, with £935,000 to the winner, £620,000 for the runner-up and even £187,000 for seventh and eighth.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and 2012 Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar complete Group One, with Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and US Open champion Webb Simpson in Group Two.
The format is medal matchplay - head-to-head matches with the lowest strokeplay score over 18 holes winning one point - and each player will play three matches in the group stages; one on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.
The winner of Group One will then face the runner-up of Group Two, and vice versa, in Thursday's semi-finals, with the final to be staged on Friday.
McIlroy and Woods will not face each other until the final game on Wednesday, by which time they could already be through to the semi-finals if they win their opening two games.
The field was based on the world rankings on April 1, with the only two members of the top eight to turn down a place being Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker. They were replaced by Rose and Simpson.
Unsurprisingly, the event has not gone down well with either the European or US PGA Tour, although it will finish on Friday so as not to clash with weekend coverage of the Portuguese Masters or the Frys.com Open in California.