Rory McIlroy was so humbled by Thursday’s six-shot smack down that Tiger Woods handed him at the first-ever World Golf Final that the best golfer on the planet consoled himself with a leisurely swim with his tennis star girlfriend.
Oh, and $300,000 on top of the untold million(s) he collected just for showing up and finishing last in a field of eight shorts-wearing pals in the glorified $5.2 million Turkey shoot and cash grab.
McIlroy, who earlier in the week conceded that he, well, conceded his first match to Matt Kuchar -- his opponent “lost interest” after a triple-bogey seven on the 15th, Kooch told The Telegraph -- apparently went to Turkey for some beach time with Caroline Wozniacki. So, it was somewhat fitting that, with water on the brain, he rinsed his first tee shot of the morning contest with Woods.
Indeed, Rory Mac was so psyched for the first toe-to-toe tilt with his new best friend that he probably had his swimming trunks on under his golf togs.
“Not really [disappointed]. I've got an afternoon by the pool, I don't mind,” McIlroy said, according to The Telegraph, after bouncing out of the exhibition with nary a point. "I knew I was going to have an afternoon off anyway so I was just going out and playing. I never really had any expectations.
"I've treated this week as it's great to come here, nice weather, play a bit of golf, I get to spend some time with Caroline. I viewed it as a week like that. I didn't touch a club until the first day."
Probably not exactly what the sponsors, who coughed up big bucks for what they hoped would be a “Tiger vs. Rory” happening, had in mind. But who really cares -- other than, perhaps, the organizers of the one-day showdown between the two in China later this month, who might like to see a bit more bang for their buck?
As for the actual golf, Woods hammered the guy pundits compare to his dominating former self and with whom he struck up a friendly rivalry in several sessions together during the FedEx Cup series. Following his take-no-prisoners pounding of his young pal, Woods chatted about the solid state of his game -- “I really hit it good out there,” he said, according to the Associated Press -- and McIlroy backed him up.
"He is so solid from tee to green and he basically didn't hole much out there today and still shot seven under,” McIlroy said to The Telegraph. “I've said it all year, he's there, he's playing well and he is going to win tournaments and contend in majors."
He probably will -- but not because of a meaningless victory in a made-for-non-U.S.-TV, silly season event against an opponent who couldn’t wait to take a dive.
For those keeping score at home, Woods recorded a seven-under 64 to McIlroy’s 70 and went on to lose to Justin Rose in a semifinal match Wednesday afternoon. Rose will meet Lee Westwood in Friday’s final, with $1.5 million going to the winner.