Published Thursday, 11 October 2012
Tiger Woods with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. (© Getty)
The world number one needed a win against Woods in Antalya, and for other results to go his way, to make it to the semi-finals.
McIlroy had already suffered opening match defeats to Matt Kuchar and Charl Schwartzel, but couldn't find his game to pull things back against his third opponent.
The 23-year-old got off to a bad start by ending up in a water hazard straight off the tee on the first hole and eventually carded a 70, trailing Woods by six shots.
McIlroy, who said he didn't set out with any expectations, consoled himself with an afternoon by the pool with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.
"I've treated this week as it's great to come here, nice weather, play a bit of golf, I get to spend some time with Caroline ... I viewed it as a week like that. I didn't touch a club until the first day," he said.
He's also got next week off before a final push to try to win the Race to Dubai.
"It has been a great season and I am ready to be done. It is just such a long season these days but I feel I have got an obligation to play some big events leading up to Dubai," McIlroy added.
In the afternoon's semi-finals, Lee Westwood stunned opponent Schwartzel with his round of 61, while Justin Rose turned his match against Woods around in dramatic fashion - including with his approach at the 14th pitching inches from the hole and then spinning back to drop for an eagle.
The losing semi-finalists pick up $600,000 each, while Westwood and Rose will contest the final on Friday with a cool $1.5m as the top prize.
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.
"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," Westwood said.
Rose added: "It felt like the Ryder Cup to be honest, the transition between morning and afternoon felt difficult there and today."
Speaking about the tournament, Woods said he liked the format - just not how he'd fared.
"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," he said.