Westwood and Rose advance to final of Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

Lee Westwood at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final
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Lee Westwood shot a 61 with a double bogey Thursday afternoon to get into the finals.
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Series: Other Tour

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 | 11:18 a.m.

BELEK, Turkey -- Justin Rose beat Tiger Woods by a stroke Thursday to set up a title match with Lee Westwood in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

The two Englishmen, who played on the victorious European Ryder Cup team, will meet Friday, with the winner getting $1.5 million and the runner-up $1 million in the eight-player exhibition.

Rose, who holed a sand wedge shot for an eagle at the 14th, finished with a 2-under 69 while Woods was at 70 in the medal-match-play format.

Westwood shot a course-record 61 in the semifinals to beat 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa by six shots. Westwood had two eagles and eight birdies, including a 50-footer at the last on the PGA Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club. His score would have been even better if not for a double bogey at the fourth hole.

''It was just one of those days I was on a roll. I am just pleased to be swinging the ball well because I've got no hangover from the Ryder Cup, and that's nice,'' Westwood said. ''It seemed the hole just got bigger and bigger with each hole I played, and that hasn't happened for a while.

''It's also a very satisfying feeling to be playing in a tournament like this, and if Justin had not beaten Webb Simpson earlier today I would not have had the opportunity to go out and shoot 61. So a lot of things have to go your way and I have capitalized on a bit of fortune.''

Rose tried to pull his cap over his face when his wedge shot at No. 14 took a couple of bounces and disappeared into the hole. Woods also broke out in a smile.

''I was really struggling early on today and to can that shot at 14 was easily the turning point,'' Rose said. ''In proper match play you would only win the hole, but in this format I've picked up two shots on Tiger and it's help me win the match.''

Rose then birdied No. 13, and after his eagle a hole later both birdied No. 16 before ending with two pars apiece.

''When Justin birdied 13 and holed out at 14, it was the turning point in the match,'' Woods said. ''I was 2 up at the time and all of a sudden 1 down with four holes to play.

''But I haven't played since format since the Dunhill Cup in '98, so it's been awhile, and it's a neat format as it's never over until it's done," Woods added. "There can be some big-time swings out there, as we saw with Justin at 14. But then it was a long day and it's certainly frustrating when I've lost two matches by a shot, but that's the way it goes.''

Rose is now ready for an all-English showdown with Westwood.

''I would dearly love to win this as I want to stay fresh and I want to stay hungry for the rest of the season,'' Rose said. ''There is very little history of Westwood and myself playing against each other, but being the world No. 5 at the moment it would be great to get one over the world No. 4.''

The final is Friday morning, with Woods and the other players competing in an afternoon pro-am. Woods has hinted he will consider a return to Turkey next year for the inaugural $7 million Turkish Open that was announced this week as an official European Tour event with a 78-player field.

Woods also backed Darren Clarke to become captain of the European team for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles. Woods helped Clarke when the Northern Irishman's first wife, Heather, died weeks before the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland.

''I'm not sure what the process is, but if Darren is selected he would make a great captain,'' Woods said. ''He's one of my best friends out here and he's a great guy. He'd make a great leader.''

Earlier Thursday, Woods beat Rory McIlroy by six strokes to advance to the semifinals, turning the first head-to-head match between the world's top two players into a one-sided contest.

McIlroy, No. 1 in the world, was eliminated from the $5.3 million exhibition after slumping to a third consecutive group match defeat on a day of low scoring. Woods shot 7-under 64 for a second straight victory.

''It felt good and I really hit it good out there,'' said Woods. ''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.''

Rose shot a course-record 62 to beat Simpson by five strokes and also stay perfect in the event, which has a first prize of $1.5 million.

Charl Schwartzel shot an 8-under 63 to defeat American Matt Kuchar by two strokes for his third straight win. The South African, who won the 2011 Masters, then lost to Westwood after the fourth-ranked Englishman shot 64 to beat Hunter Mahan by three strokes.

McIlroy hit his tee shot on the first hole into the water and wasn't under par for the round until he birdied No. 17.

''I'm not that disappointed because I've got the afternoon off around the pool,'' said McIlroy, who was cheered on by his girlfriend, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

''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,'' McIlroy said.

McIlroy shot rounds of 76, 71 and 70 -- the first time he shot back-to-back scores in the 70s since finishing in 60th place at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in July.

Players returned to action Thursday morning after the final group matches were suspended on Wednesday because of thunderstorms.

McIlroy was the only player not to shoot a round in the 60s, with Rose particularly impressive to finish at the top of Group Two.

''It was a good game out there,'' Rose said. ''(I) ended up 9 under and Webb was 5 under but it was a much closer game than that.''