What’s that smell in the air? Money grabs! Yep, it’s silly season, which might be the best part of the year for some players — it’s laid-back, unofficial and lots of money for just showing up. (I wish the same rule applied for the press, even though I’m not in Turkey this week!)
Eight of the best players in the world — Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel — have gathered in Antalya, Turkey, for the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, $5.2-million exhibition.
Besides collecting a guaranteed check, with last place receiving $300,000, there are other perks, such as wearing shorts. (Yes, shorts!) The pros, who must wear pants at nearly every other event (except the U.S. Open qualifier), were given the option of showing off their
dangerously-pasty legs this week.
Not all of the guys took advantage of this rare occasion on Tuesday — maybe some of them didn’t get to hit the tanning beds before? — but three of them did indeed sport shorts. Now before we get to results of from the first day of matches, we must address the more important issues. You know, like, who wore them best??
First, I present to you another shot (and from a different angle) of 2011 Masters champ Charl Schwartzel:
I thought he’d have worse chicken legs, but they actually look rather muscular!
Next, we have Lee Westwood, who has worked quite hard on getting in shape in the past year:
Finally, the lone American to parade his legs, Hunter Mahan:
Hm, tough call. They’re all such …errr… nice shorts. Can I call it a draw?
Meanwhile, how did they play? Well, the format is medal match play, meaning the guys compete against another individual in stroke play. The players are divided in groups, where everyone plays against three others in the first stage. The top two in both groups advance to the semifinals on Thursday. Each match is worth a point and a half-point is given for ties.
Tiger, who triple-bogeyed the ninth hole, almost completed an epic come-from-behind victory over Schwartzel, but he bogeyed the 18th to shoot 70 lose to the South African by one stroke. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy also came up short, posting a 76 that included two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey, and lost to Matt Kuchar, who shot 70.
Unfortunately, this means Rory and Tiger will probably not advance to the semifinals, but the two will face each other in the last of the three group matches on Wednesday afternoon.
In the other group, Rose carded 71 to defeat Mahan, who posted 75, and Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by a stroke.
Yes, that’s right–three of the four victorious players were wearing shorts. Coincidence?
I think not!
The winner (winner, chicken dinner!) receives $1.5 million. Only?
(Getty Images/Warren Little)