BELEK, Turkey (Reuters) - Justin Rose beat 14-times major champion Tiger Woods in the semi-finals on Thursday to set up a 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 world number two Woods, who eliminated top-ranked Rory McIlroy earlier in the day, by one shot.
Westwood blitzed his way past 2011 U.S. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel by six strokes, the world number four 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 strokeplay 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 U.S. 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 matchplay 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,” added Rose.
“There is very little history of Westwood and me playing each other but being the world number five at the moment it would be great to get one over the world number four.”
Woods and Schwartzel earned $600,000 each as semi-final losers while Westwood and Rose will go head to head on Friday for the first prize of $1.5 million in the inaugural event.
Westwood, who fired a 64 to defeat American Hunter Mahan in their last Group Two encounter in the 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,” said the Northern Irishman.
“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.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez