European Tour

McIlroy slays Schwartzel - in the kitchen

2015-10-29 11:38
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo Images)
Antalya - Charl Schwartzel can cook up a mean beef dish, but Rory McIlroy stole his thunder in the Turkish Airlines Open Gourmet Golfers Challenge at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal on Wednesday.

In honour of Turkish Airlines’ recent World’s Best Catering Service award for their on-board Flying Chefs, former world number one McIlroy challenged Schwartzel to a culinary challenge to launch the European Tour Final Series curtain-raiser.

The two players each receive an identical mystery bag of ingredients, a sous-chef and 10 minutes to come up with a winning dish.

McIlroy opted for a Mediterranean chicken dish, while 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel paid homage to South Africa with a beef creation.

Roping in the chefs to do the chopping, the two players stirred up storm and presented Turkish Golf Federation president Ahmet Agaoglu with their offerings.

Agaoglu was impressed with both dishes, but awarded McIlroy the prize for his Turkish inspired food, However, when the Ulsterman had a chance to sample Schwartzel’s beef, he said Agaoglu got it wrong.

“He got it wrong, Charl, this is better than mine. You were robbed, mate,” McIlroy said, to which Schwartzel responded: “I want a recount!”

McIlroy and Schwartzel are both eager to celebrate a return to the winner’s circle this week.

The South African has come close on a few occasions since his Alfred Dunhill Championship victory in December 2013, while the Gourmet Golfers Challenge marked McIlroy’s first ‘win’ since the WGC Cadillac Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship victories in May.

With his number one spot in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai is under threat from Englishman Danny Willett, the four-time Major champion is eager for a strong start this week.

“Danny has had a brilliant season, and I know he’ll be doing everything he can to make up the gap between us in the overall standings,” he said.

“But I am confident in my own game and look forward try and win the Race to Dubai for a third time.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines announced that they have renewed their deal as title sponsor of the Turkish Airlines Open for a further three years.

Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

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