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McIlroy beaten again as Woods boosts chances

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy has failed to justify his No. 1 status in Turkey © Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy's hopes of victory in the World Golf Final are hanging by a thread after the world No. 1 suffered a second successive defeat in Turkey.

McIlroy, who lost to Matt Kuchar on Tuesday, failed to hold onto an early lead as he was beaten by Charl Schwartzel ahead of a final round robin clash with world No. 2 Tiger Woods.

Woods, who also suffered defeat on the opening day, kept his hopes of a semi-final spot alive as he came from behind to beat Kuchar by five strokes.

Woods trailed by three in the early stages, but a two-shot swing at the seventh saw him reduce the deficit. Back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 followed by a pair of bogeys from Kuchar saw Woods tighten his grip before three birdies in his last four holes completed a convincing victory.

While McIlroy's hopes of scooping the $1.5 million winner's cheque are slim - even victory in his final match may not be enough to see him reach the semi-finals - he can prevent rival Woods from having a shot at the prize money.

He was due to take on the world No. 2 later on Wednesday, but organisers were forced to suspend play for the day after thunderstorms in Antalya - the final set of round-robin matches will now take place on Thursday ahead of the semi-finals.

Unlike Woods' comeback win, McIlroy saw a four-shot lead evaporate in as many holes as the Schwartzel's consistency paid dividends as the South African secured a second successive victory to put him on the brink of the semi-finals.

The in-form Justin Rose is also in pole position to qualify for the last four after the Brit defeated Lee Westwood by three strokes. Rose, who beat Hunter Mahan in Tuesday's opening clash, went round in five-under to secure victory.

Mahan, meanwhile, shot the third best round of the day (four-under), but it was not enough to defeat Webb Simpson. The pair headed to the final tee on level terms, but Hunter could only manage a bogey while Simpson finished with a birdie to secure a two-shot victory.

Group A
Rory McIlroy Ev lost to Charl Schwartzel -1
Tiger Woods -4 beat Matt Kuchar +1

Group B
Lee Westwood -2 lost to Justin Rose -5
Hunter Mahan -4 lost to Webb Simpson -6

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