Thursday, 11 October 2012
Lee Westwood   (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

 

Lee Westwood and Justin Rose are guaranteed US$1,000,000 each after making it an all-English final of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

Westwood followed his morning 64 against Hunter Mahan with a stunning 61 - which included a double bogey – in his semi-final to beat the former Masters Tournament Champion Charl Schwartzel by six shots.

Rose then turned around his match with Tiger Woods in spectacular fashion, recovering from two behind after 12 with a birdie on the 13th and an eagle on the 14th, where his approach pitched just inches from the hole and span back into the cup.

Both players then birdied the par five 16th and when Woods missed from 15 feet for birdie on the last to force sudden death, Rose was certain of a seven-figure payday.

First prize tomorrow is US$1,500,000 with $1,000,000 to the runner-up, while Schwartzel and Woods collected $600,000 as losing semi-finalists.

Westwood holed from 15 feet for an eagle on the third, but double-bogeyed the next after hitting a flyer over the green which finished up against a tree.

However, he then holed a bunker shot for a birdie on the sixth and drove the green on the short par four ninth to set up another eagle, while he also chipped in for another birdie on the 13th for good measure.

"It was just one of those days where I got on a roll and the hole started to look bigger and that's not happened for a while," said Westwood, who has been working hard on his short game with former European Tour professional Tony Johnstone.

"It was pretty special stuff. I'm just pleased to be playing well and getting back in the swing of things after The Ryder Cup, with no hangover from that."

Asked about being guaranteed $1,000,000 in the final, Westwood added: "I hadn't really thought about that.

"It's nice obviously. I have been successful in golf and done very well, and I am in the fortunate position now of going to tournaments with the sole purpose of trying to win.

"I know what a luxury I have to play this game and play it for fortunes - it's not often you see me miserable is it? I try and play with a smile because I know how lucky I am."

Rose also had reason to smile after carding a 62 in the morning to beat US Open Champion Webb Simpson and following it with victory over Woods.

"It was a great day," said Rose, who was stunned to learn Westwood had shot 61 in the trickier afternoon conditions. "It was an ugly match until the end.

"It was hard to come out and get a rhythm going this afternoon for the both of us. It felt like The Ryder Cup to be honest, the transition between morning and afternoon felt difficult there and today.

"There's also a lot more noise and kerfuffle when playing with Tiger, but I hung in there and tried to draw upon the fast finishes I've had of late - he birdied the last two holes to beat Phil Mickelson at Medinah - and got a stroke of luck on 14.

"I just had to look up and give Tiger a wry smile, there's not much you can do about that."

Woods added: "That was a big switch right there. All of a sudden I was one down with four to go.

"It's a neat format because it's never over until the end, but it's frustrating that I lost two matches by one shot and just did not play well enough to win those matches."

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