Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals: Rory McIlroy on brink of exit after losing to Charl Schwartzel
Last Updated: 10/10/12 1:58pm
Rory McIlroy: improved display on Wednesday morning was not enough against Charl Schwartzel
Rory McIlroy lost his second match in a row at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals to leave himself with a mountain to climb when he takes on Tiger Woods on Thursday.
World number one McIlroy produced a level-par 71, five better than during the previous day's defeat to Matt Kuchar, but still lost out by a stroke to Charl Schwartzel.
Schwartzel, who matched his opponent's birdie at the last to claim the point, has two wins from two and sits top of Pool A.
Standings and scores
Pool One - Pts
Pool Two - Pts
(Combined 36-hole scores):
Pool One: -5 Woods, -3 Schwartzel, Lev Kuchar, +5 McIlroy
Pool Two: -5 Rose, -4 Simpson, -1 Westwood, Lev Mahan
"It was actually a decent match," said McIlroy. "I felt like I played a bit better today, had plenty of chances and just didn't really hole much. I got off to a better start and Charl played solid and then birdied three of the last four so I couldn't really do much about that."
McIlroy would have to beat Woods in the battle of the world's top ranked players and hope Schwartzel does him a favour against Kuchar to have a chance of progressing.
Woods saw off Kuchar by five on Wednesday morning thanks to a four-under 67 to ensure all four players can still qualify - mathematically at least - for the knockout phase.
McIlroy faces a huge task though as, if players finish level on points, qualification is decided by aggregate totals over the three rounds. That means the Northern Irishman (+5 for his two rounds so far) needs to make up 10 shots on Woods (-5) and five on Kuchar.
A heavy thunderstorm at the Antalya Golf Club means the final round of pool matches, originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, have been put back until Thursday morning.
In Pool B, Justin Rose beat Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood by three shots, 66 compared to 69, for his second straight victory at the lucrative event and Webb Simpson shot a six-under 65, the low round of the week so far, to see off fellow American Hunter Mahan by two shots.
Simpson and Westwood both have one point, while Mahan is yet to win but could still qualify for the semi-finals if he beats Westwood in his final match and Simpson loses to Rose.