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Tiger Woods disappoints as he and Rory McIlroy lose 'The Match' to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth

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Tiger Woods disappoints as he and Rory McIlroy lose 'The Match' to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth cruised to victory over Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in the latest installment of The Match on Saturday night outside Tampa, Florida.

Thomas and Spieth rolled to 3 and 2 wins in 10 holes under the lights at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair. Thomas and Spieth combined for seven birdies compared to just one for Woods and McIlroy.

‘Tiger and Rory, what happened,’ Thomas and Spieth quipped on Twitter afterwards. ‘How did you lose to the two of us? It’s fine, everyone does it.’

It's back to square one for Tiger Woods after he failed to win 'The Match' with Rory McIlroy

It’s back to square one for Tiger Woods after he failed to win ‘The Match’ with Rory McIlroy

After tying the first hole, the pair of Jordan Spieth (L) and Justin Thomas (R) cruised to a win

After tying the first hole, the pair of Jordan Spieth (L) and Justin Thomas (R) cruised to a win

The event raised millions of dollars for relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

‘The fact that we were able to do something under the lights that has never happened in our sport, to grow it in a different way,’ Woods said on the TNT broadcast afterwards.

This was Tiger’s third appearance in The Match, while the other three debuted on the produced TV event.

Woods hit a great drive on the first hole - putting him up for a birdie and a hole-in-one tie

Woods hit a great drive on the first hole – putting him up for a birdie and a hole-in-one tie

Woods’ first hole of the night saw him hit a great drive, putting him up a chip and a putt for birdie.

However, there wasn’t much else to cheer about for the rest of the round – as Spieth and Thomas went 3UP on the fourth hole.

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The seventh hole saw Woods and McIlroy win their only holes of the round, but promptly lost the next three to end proceedings two holes early.

Woods paints an uncertain picture about how much golf he can play, saying last month that ‘I don’t have much left in this leg.’

He also has no hope that the PGA Tour and the rival Saudi-funded league will reconcile unless Greg Norman is out as head of LIV Golf.

‘Not now. Not in their leadership. Not having Greg there and his anger at the tour itself,’ Woods said. ‘I don’t see that happening.’

Woods artfully sidestepped other questions in the Bahamas last month, such as details on two unexpected surgeries he had last year and whether the 20-man field at the Hero World Challenge should earn points. towards the world ranking.

Despite combining well, Woods and McIlroy were unable to put together a great performance

Despite combining well, Woods and McIlroy were unable to put together a great performance

He was emphatic about the impact of LIV Golf, referring to the friction caused by the rival league and how the lawsuits are hindering any reconciliation.

A year ago, Woods was just starting to catch up with the driver and his ambition was to get to St. Andrews for the 150th edition of the British Open. He also ended up playing in the Masters and PGA Championship.

That spans nine rounds — four at Augusta National, three at the PGA Championship (he withdrew after the third round) and two at St. Andrews.

Woods felt he was improving in the months after the British Open, only to injure his right foot while trying to prepare for a 72-hole event in the Bahamas.

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‘When you get plantar fasciitis, the worst thing you can do is walk, and I was walking more and more, trying to prepare my legs for this event, and I kept making it worse,’ he said . ‘So it has to be closed.’

Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee in The Match 7 at Pelican at Pelican Golf Club on Saturday

Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee in The Match 7 at Pelican at Pelican Golf Club on Saturday

He said he’ll take a month or two to rest, which won’t affect his golf schedule because he won’t be playing much, anyway.

It has arrived. Woods will turn 47 on Dec. 30, and he’s had nearly as many major surgeries as he’s won (15).

‘The goal is just to play major championships and maybe one or two more. That’s it. Physically, that’s all I can do. I told you that (at) the beginning of this year,’ he said.

‘I mean, I don’t have much left in this leg, so get ready for the big ones and hopefully, lightning will catch in a bottle and I’ll be in contention with a chance to win, and hopefully, I’ll remember how to do that. ‘

He said he did everything to prepare for St. Andrews, only for his leg to act on him and lead to an emotional early exit. Woods doesn’t expect to return to another Open in St. Andrews.

He wasn’t feeling well that week beyond his leg, though it wasn’t COVID-19.