The much ballyhooed matchup between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals in Turkey this week ended up being rather disappointing. Woods trounced McIlroy by 6 strokes in the head-to-head competition; Tiger shot a 64 compared to Rory’s 70.
The defeat knocks McIlroy out of the tournament and quashes his chance at the winners share ($1.5 million) of the $5.2 million purse. Rory isn’t walking away empty handed, however. He will still take home $300,000. At least the young superstar is keeping things in perspective, saying, “I’m not that disappointed because I’ve got the afternoon off around the pool. I just came here because I have never played in Turkey and there’s a lot of good players here, and I thought it would be a fun week and it has been.”
When you’re the best player in the world, it has to be difficult to stay that grounded. When it all boils down, however, Rory is still a 23 year old who is looking to lead some semblance of a normal life. His version of normal just happens to be jetting around the world, playing in huge golf tournaments and dating Caroline Wozniacki. No big deal.
Woods, on the other hand, will advance in the tournament to face Justin Rose in the semifinals later today. Tiger has been happy with his play since the debacle at the Ryder Cup. “It felt good and I really hit it good out there. My game is starting to turn around a bit and I am beginning to hit it like I did at the start of the year,” he said in an interview.
It would have been great to see both Woods and McIlroy at the top of their respective games, battling for the prestige of beating their opponent. Unfortunately, Rory didn’t have it on this particular day. We’ll still have plenty of opportunities to see these heavyweights duke it out in the upcoming golf season, however.