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October 09, 2012

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy lose opening matches in Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

Tiger_turkey_forwebIf the world's No. 1 and No. 2 golfers play each other and Golf Channel doesn't broadcast it, does it make a sound?

We'll find out tomorrow when Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods face off on the second day of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Antalya, Turkey. Both McIlroy and Woods lost their opening matches on Tuesday; Matt Kuchar (70) beat McIlroy (76), and Charl Schwartzel (69) beat Woods (70).

Here's a recap of the Woods-Schwartzel from Tony Jimenez of Reuters:

[Woods] was level with Schwartzel on the 18th tee but the 14-time major winner found a greenside bunker with his approach and a bogey meant he carded a 70 to Schwartzel's 69.

"It came right down to the wire but I can't believe how far that second shot flew into the back bunker," said Woods. "It means I now have to play ‘Kooch' and try and win that match before facing Rory in the afternoon. Despite the outcome I really enjoy the format."

The event in Turkey features an unusual match play/stroke play hybrid that's more like World Cup qualifying in soccer than a traditional golf tournament. The players are divided into two groups of four. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the players in each group face each other in 18-hole stroke-play matches. The top two players from each group will advance to a semifinal on Thursday. The final match is on Friday. The event is not being broadcast on American television.

Since Woods and McIlroy are in the same group, they will face each other Wednesday afternoon. In the other group Tuesday, Lee Westwood (72) beat Webb Simpson (73), and Justin Rose (71) beat Hunter Mahan (75).

The winner of the tournament will get $1.5 million; last-place receives $300,000.

PHOTOS: See the pros in Turkey

Photo: Tiger Woods during his opening match with Charl Schwartzel at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Antayla, Turkey, on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

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