Golf

Tiger, Rory ready for showdown

2012-09-25 07:43
Tiger Woods (AP)

Atlanta - World No 1 Rory McIlroy and No 2 Tiger Woods are set to lead their Ryder Cup teams this week after final-round fades cost them a chance at a $10 million US PGA playoff prize.

American Brandt Snedeker, a US Ryder Cup captain's choice selection by Davis Love, won the Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake to win a record $11.44 million and jump to 10th in the rankings ahead of this weekend's showdown.

Holders Europe boast four of the world's top five players with England's Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose joining McIlroy in that select group.

"I'm just going to really enjoy it. It's going to be a good week," McIlroy said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus but without a major title since 2008, looked forward to a rest day on Monday before beginning Ryder Cup practice sessions at Medinah.

"It will be nice to shut it down and gear up again because we've got a long, long week ahead of us," Woods said. "We're all going to need our energy and get our rest when we can."

Woods, who has seen 18 majors come and go since he last won one, is happy to be healthier and more competitive and consistent than he was a year ago.

"Considering where I was at last year, it's nice to be where I'm at now," he said. "I was obviously struggling with my health last year and this year I was able to turn it around and I played some pretty good golf this year."

Woods won at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial and the PGA National in 2012 and contended at majors, showing flashes of the form that made him a legend but not often enough to capture a major crown.

McIlroy won his second career major title, adding last month's PGA Championship to his breakthrough triumph at the 2011 US Open, and nearly added the playoff crown to his haul.

"You've got to treat it like a four or five-week tournament," McIlroy said. "It adds excitement to the end of the year. Obviously, you've got the Ryder Cup next week, so that's going to be exciting too, but it definitely gives people something to watch and something to hang on to after the majors are finished.

"I'm not going to complain. It's been a great year, and I'm very happy with how I'm playing still.

"I'm looking forward to meeting up with all the guys. Just to get back into that team atmosphere and team spirit. It should be good fun. I'm just going to go there and enjoy it and try and help Team Europe out as much as I can."

Read more on:    tiger woods  |  rory mcilroy  |  golf
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