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Golf This Week: Woods, McIlroy stage their own Match Play

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy faced off Sunday in match play, just like so many golf fans wanted to see.

Only hardly anyone saw them. And it didn't even count.

After both were eliminated in the first round of the Match Play Championship, No. 1 and No. 2 in the world played two rounds Sunday morning at The Medalist.

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"We thought we'd play our own Match Play final," McIlroy said Tuesday at the Honda Classic.

They were done about the time Matt Kuchar was holding on for a 2-and-1 win over Hunter Mahan at Dove Mountain in Arizona. McIlroy didn't give any details of the match, but it's safe to say they weren't wearing the ski caps that Kuchar and Mahan had on during their match.

The opening round for Woods and McIlroy didn't start until Thursday because of a snowstorm. They were gone the next day after losing, and Woods said he was headed home to Florida to get warm.

The Medalist is the home club of Woods. McIlroy said former NFL receiver Ahmad Rashad joined them.

So who won?

McIlroy said Woods won the first round, and McIlroy beat him the second round. That would leave their head-to-head record tied at 2 wins apiece. A year ago, Woods beat McIlroy in the World Golf Finals exhibition in Turkey, and McIlroy beat him in an 18-hole exhibition in China.

One thing they didn't have to worry about was pace of play.

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They teed off at 8 a.m. and McIlroy said he was home by 1:30 p.m.

"He putts with the pin in," McIlroy said. "It's speed golf. It was good. It was really enjoyable."

McIlroy is the defending champion at the Honda Classic, where he held on despite a birdie-eagle finish by Woods, who tied for second. McIlroy has played only three rounds that count this year, with the Masters only six weeks away. He and Woods missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, and both lost in the first round of Match Play. The difference is that Woods also played the Farmers Insurance Open, which he won for his record eighth win at Torrey Pines.

Both are to play next week at Doral.



COURSE: PGA National Resort and Spa, The Champion (7,110 yards, par 70).

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PURSE: $6 million. Winner's share: $1.08 million.

TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Friday, 12:30-3:30 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Saturday, 12:30-3:30 a.m., 1-5 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).

CANADIAN CONTENT: Stephen Ames, Graham DeLaet, Brad Fritsch, David Hearn, Mike Weir

NOTES: Defending champion Rory McIlroy and world number two Tiger Woods are in the field. Last year, McIlroy beat Woods and Tom Gillis by two strokes to take over the number one world ranking. ...Woods fired a final round 62 last year, his lowest final round ever.  ...McIlroy has played a total of 54 holes in 2013, missing the cut in Abu Dhabi before losing to Shane Lowry in his Match Play opener last week. ...Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan, finalists at last weekend's Match Play Championship, are skipping the event. ... Five of the season's first seven winners are also in the field this week. ...Just one American has captured the title in the past eight years (Mark Wilson, 2007). ...Since the event moved to PGA National in 2007, the "Bear Trap" has accounted for 24 percent of all bogeys at the Honda Classic, 56 percent of all double bogeys and 74 percent of all triple bogeys. ...Of the 13 Honda entrants ranked among the top 25, eight have homes within 30 minutes of PGA National – McIlroy, Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and British Open titleholder Ernie Els.



COURSE: Sentosa Golf Club, The Serapong Course (6,606 yards, par 72).

PURSE: $1.4 million. Winner's share: $210,000.

TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7-9:30 p.m.).

NOTES: Last year, Angela Stanford won her fifth LPGA Tour title, beating Jenny Shin with a birdie on the third playoff hole. ...Paula Creamer, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen escaped serious injury Sunday when the cars they were riding in Bangkok were involved in a five-car accident. Creamer strained a muscle in her neck, and Miyazato also is fighting whiplash. Pettersen wasn't hurt. Creamer and Miyazato, the 2010 winner, will attempt to play. ... Jiyai Shin, the 2009 winner, won the season-opening Australian Women's Open. ...There are no Canadians entered in the event. ...The tour returns to the United States March 14-17 with the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix.



COURSE: The Els Club at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate (7,791 yards, par 72).

PURSE: $1.96 million. Winner's share: $311,070.

TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.).

NOTES: Major champions Darren Clarke, Jose Maria Olazabal and Michael Campbell are in the field for this inaugural event. ... Ernie Els designed the course on land where his grandfather, Ernie Vermaak, grew up. Els is skipping the tournament to play in the PGA Tour's Honda Classic. ...The course is the longest in European Tour history. The 685-yard fourth hole also is the longest in tour history, and the course is the circuit's first with three par 5s over 600 yards. ...The tournament is the last of six European Tour event in South Africa this season.



COURSE: Bogota Country Club (7,237 yards, par 71).

PURSE: $700,000. Winner's share: $126,000.


CANADIAN CONTENT: Adam Hadwin, Richard Scott, Roger Sloan,

NOTES: Skip Kendall holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole last year for a one-stroke victory to  beome the fourth-oldest winner in tour history. ...Former Penn State player Kevin Foley won the season-opening event last week for his first tour title. ...Jordan Spieth tied for seventh last week in Panama. He turned pro in December after 1 1/2 years at the University of Texas.



COURSE: Amata Spring Country Club (Bangkok)


NOTES: Four coveted spots are available for The Open Championship this July at this two-day qualifying event. ...Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, who will be the youngest player in the field, will be bidding to earn his second Major appearance in 2013. He will be at the Masters in April after winning the Asian Amateur Championship. ...Anirban Lahiri of India won the IFQ – Asia last year. He finished tied 31st in his Major debut which was highlighted by his hole-in-one in the third round. ...Lindsay Renolds of Christina Lake, B.C. is the only Canadian in the field hoping to qualify for the Open Championship.



COURSE:  Spring Hill Country Club (6,825 yards, par 71)

PURSE: $200,000

CANADIAN CONTENT: Stuart Anderson, Marc-Etienne Bussieres, Max Gilbert, Mathieu Gingras, Spence Laurie, Will Mitchell, Louis-Alexandre Pitre, Ben Silverman,  Sebastian Szirmak, Riley Wheeldon

NOTES: Bussieres of Gatineau, Que., is coming off a fifth place finish at last week's weather shortened 36-hole event. Originally shortened to 54 holes, rain prevented many of the leaders from finishing the final round. The decision was made to finish on Tuesday, but due to continuous rains and flood warnings in the Tallahassee area, the event was shortened to 36 holes.  ...Anderson and Wheeldon both finished tied for 12th.



COURSE: Vista Verde (7,219 yds - Par 72)

CANADIAN CONTENT: Chris Baryla, Richard Boychuk, Kent Eger, Tyler Frank, Craig Gibson, Wes Heffernan, Beon Yeong Lee, Glen Lengyel, Keith Martin, Dallas Mengel, Thomas Petts, Daniel Pow, Cory Renfrew, Darren Wallace,



COURSE: Timacuan Golf Club (6,387 yards, par 72)

CANADIAN CONTENT: Chelsia Petersen (a), Natalie Gleadall, Ellen O'Brien


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