McIlroy, Woods lose opening matches in Turkey

McIlroy, Woods lose opening matches in Turkey

BELEK, Turkey (AP) The anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods on Wednesday may not count for much after both lost their opening matches at the eight-player World Golf Finals.

McIlroy lost to Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to Charl Schwartzel by one shot on Tuesday in the $5.2 million event at the Sultan course in Antalya.

In the other group of the medal match-play format, Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose defeated Hunter Mahan by four strokes.

McIlroy and Woods - ranked No. 1 and No. 2 - face each other Wednesday in the last of their three group matches, but both could already be eliminated by then. The top two in each group will advance to the semifinals.

In Wednesday's morning matches, McIlroy will face Schwartzel and Woods will play Kuchar.

Woods and Schwartzel were all-square going to the 18th when the American went into a greenside bunker and finished with a bogey.

``It came right down to the wire, but I can't believe how far that second shot flew into the back bunker and that was the match,'' Woods said. ```It means now that I have to play `Kooch' and try and win that match before facing Rory in the afternoon.''

McIlroy unraveled against Kuchar with a triple bogey at the 15th hole and double bogeys at 16 and 17.

``I hit a drive into the trees on 15 and lost a bit of confidence,'' McIlroy said. ``I need to win both of my matches tomorrow if I am to advance. I just struggled for a bit of motivation out there, so I need to go out and concentrate on both of my matches tomorrow.''

Kuchar, after taking a bogey at the first, birdied the next two holes and was never behind.

``I just thought I had to play mistake-free, and hopefully Rory wouldn't get too hot,'' the American said. ``There we are all-square with four to go, he hits it right and makes triple bogey, and I go three up with three to go and I think both of us lost a little interest at that point.''

The event allows players to wear shorts, and Westwood, Schwartzel, Mahan and Kuchar chose to do so. All but Mahan won their matches. Westwood wore a red shirt and white shorts in tribute to his favorite soccer club, Nottingham Forest.

``Them are footballers legs,'' Westwood said. ``I could still play for Forest with these legs.''

Kuchar said he was happy to wear shorts again. He spent the week after the Ryder Cup loss to the European with his family in Greece.

``Being able to come to an event like this that is a little more relaxed is just great to be able to throw shorts on,'' he said.

The winner of the event, sponsored by Turkish Airways, will receive $1.5 million.

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

The relationship between Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Bullets legend Phil Chenier goes beyond your average friendship between a current and former player, or a current player and team broadcaster.

Beal and Chenier are close to the point Chenier often offers advice as a fellow shooting guard who helped lead the organization to some of their most important accomplishments.

Beal is always open ears when Chenier is talking and took great honor in being the one to tell Chenier personally that his jersey would be retired by the Wizards.

The day has come for Chenier's No. 45 to be raised to the rafters and Beal feels a unique sense of pride in seeing a man he reveres to the highest degree finally have his day in the sun.

"It's unbelievable. It's more than deserving," Beal said. "I was happy to be the one who told him about it. It's a special night for him. He's been a mentor to a lot of us for many years."


Chenier was a three-time All-Star for the Washington Bullets back in the 1970s. Following his playing career, he became a legendary broadcaster calling Bullets and then Wizards games for over 30 years.

Beal is now an NBA All-Star himself, having earned the honor for the first time this season. He is a shooting guard, just like Chenier.

Chenier was the color analyst for Wizards games for the first five years of Beal's career and Beal has always seen Chenier as a model to follow both on and off the court.

"It's always motivation for me to get better and I feel like this is the final touch of it, having your jersey retired by the franchise that you played a part in their success," Beal said.


The honor Chenier is about to receive is another goal to strive for. Beal wants to achieve a lot of what Chenier has accomplished in his life from winning a championship to making All-NBA to now having his jersey hang in the rafters at Capital One Arena.

"It definitely motivates me for that to be a goal of mine. Especially with the fact we both play the same position," Beal said.


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For more on Chenier's jersey retirement, check out our in-depth interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: