Welcome to golf's Silly Season, where tournaments start on ... Tuesday morning?!? Even though the PGA Tour's Fall Series just kicked off last week and the European Tour's Race to Dubai is still going strong, eight of the top players in the world will be in Turkey, starting on Tuesday morning, for the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final at Antalya Golf Club.
If you're wondering why the limited field event is being played mid-week, it's because tournament officials didn't want to steal eyeballs from the big tours on the weekend. While that's all well and good, it's clear the cash-grab in Turkey will be the marquee event this week -- despite the fact it's being played early in the morning if you live Stateside.
The $5.3 million purse, with the winner getting $1.5 million and the last-place finisher earning a paltry $300,000, is just another chance for the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory to grab an easy paycheck before the end of the year.
It's hard to blame them for skipping out on events in California (PGA Tour) and Portugal (European Tour) when tournament organizers are throwing buckets of free cash in their direction. Woods and McIlroy are the big names in the field -- they'll go head-to-head on Wednesday -- and they'll be joined by Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose and Webb Simpson.
In other words, you'll probably want to tune in ... if you can find it on TV. Normally you'd expect the Golf Channel to show, at the very least, tape-delayed coverage of the event. But the network plans to show exactly zero hours of coverage.
I'm confused, Golf Channel. Why not work something out and piggyback off Sky Sports' coverage? The Silly Season usually doesn't rate with golf fans, but when an event involves Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy going up against each other -- you'd think someone at the network would make it happen. But alas, we're stuck reading about the event online (or watching via online feeds).
As far as the tournament format is concerned, the players are split into two four-man groups. McIlroy, Woods, Schwartzel and Kuchar are in Group 1; Westwood, Mahan, Simpson and Rose in Group 2.
Players in each group will then compete against each other in medal-match play (lowest strokeplay score over 18 holes wins) with the winner receiving one point. After three round-robin matches, the winner from Group 1 will play the player who finished second in Group 2, and vice versa.
The winner from each semifinal will then go head-to-head in the final. Sounds easy, right? RIGHT?!? Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go lay down and rest my brain for a couple minutes.
Also, you can take a look at the tournament schedule after the jump (all times are Eastern Standard Time):
Tuesday October 10
5:30 a.m. EST Rory McIlroy v Matt Kuchar
5:40 a.m. Tiger Woods v Charl Schwartzel
5:50 a.m. Hunter Mahan v Justin Rose
6:00 a.m. Lee Westwood v Webb Simpson
Wednesday October 10
01:30 a.m. Lee Westwood v Justin Rose
01:40 a.m. Hunter Mahan v Webb Simpson
01:50 a.m. Rory McIlroy v Charl Schwartzel
02:00 a.m. Tiger Woods v Matt Kuchar
6:00 a.m. Justin Rose v Webb Simpson
6:10 a.m. Lee Westwood v Hunter Mahan
6:20 a.m. Charl Schwartzel v Matt Kuchar
6:30 a.m. Rory McIlroy v Tiger Woods
Thursday October 11
2:00 a.m. Group A winner v Group B second place
2:10 a.m. Group B winner v Group A second place
Friday October 12
1:30 a.m. Final