x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Justin Rose turns the table on Tiger Woods in World Golf Final

An eagle 2 at 14 proved the turning point for Justin Rose as he goes on to defeat Tiger Woods and will face Lee Westwood in the final of the World Golf Final.

Justin Rose grabbed his head and then pulled his cap over his eyes in disbelief after his eagle on 14 that swung his match against Tiger Woods in his favour.
Justin Rose grabbed his head and then pulled his cap over his eyes in disbelief after his eagle on 14 that swung his match against Tiger Woods in his favour.

BELEK, Turkey // Justin Rose beat the 14-time major champion Tiger Woods in the semi-finals yesterday to set up Friday's title showdown with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood at the World Golf Final exhibition event.

Rose (69) carded two birdies and an eagle in the last six holes to defeat the world No 2, who eliminated the top-ranked Rory McIlroy earlier yesterday, by one shot.

Westwood blitzed his way past the 2011 US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel by six strokes, the world No 4 firing two eagles and eight birdies in a course record, 10-under 61.

Rose trailed Woods, who beat McIlroy by six strokes in their final Group One encounter, until he holed a 110-yard sand wedge for an eagle two at the 14th.

The American smiled while Rose pulled his cap over his face after his ball took two bounces and disappeared into the hole.

"When Justin birdied 13 and holed out at 14 it was the turning point in the match," Woods told reporters. "I was two up at the time and all of a sudden one down with four to play.

"But in this stroke-play format it's not over until it's done. There can be some big swings out there and it's certainly frustrating when I've lost two matches by a shot this week."

Rose, who carded a 62 to defeat the US Open champion Webb Simpson in the morning, agreed with the sentiments of Woods. "That shot at 14 was easily the turning point," said the Englishman. 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 helped me win the match.

"It's now an all-English final with Lee. I would dearly love to win as I want to stay fresh and hungry for the rest of the season.

"There is very little history of Westwood and me playing each other but being the world No 5 at the moment it would be great to get one over the world No 4."

Woods and Schwartzel earned US$600,000 (Dh2.2 million) each as semi-final losers.

Westwood and Rose will go head to head today for the first prize of $1.5m in the inaugural event.

Westwood, who fired a 64 to defeat the American Hunter Mahan in their last Group Two encounter yesterday morning, wrapped up victory over South African Schwartzel by sinking a 50-footer at the last hole.

"It was just one of those days when I was on a roll," said Westwood.

"I am just pleased to be swinging the ball well.

"It seemed the hole just got bigger and bigger with each hole I played and that hasn't happened for a while."

Earlier, McIlroy said he had enjoyed his week despite suffering three defeats in Group One.

"I came here because I have never played in Turkey and there are a lot of good players here," the Northern Irishman said.

"I thought it would be a fun week and it has been. I've now got four events left this year starting the week after next, defending my BMW Masters title in Shanghai."

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