SAN FRANCISCO – There will be no fight.
Not for Rory McIlroy – who spent the week talking about whether he would make it to the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout in Las Vegas on Saturday – not for Gary Woodland and not for Danny Willett.
Both Woodland and Willett advanced to Sunday’s semifinal round at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and, like McIlroy, were unable to use their tickets for Saturday’s fight.
“If I would have lost this morning, I would have gone, but trying to get back at 6:45 [a.m.] would be tough. I wasn’t going to do that,” said Woodland, who beat John Senden, 5 and 3, in the quarterfinals.
Woodland said his swing coach Butch Harmon secured his ticket to the fight and would just let someone else use it. As for Willett – who defeated Tommy Fleetwood, 4 and 3, to advance to the Final Four – he said his ticket will also be used.
“If all would have gone terribly wrong today, I would have been going,” said Willett, who beat Lee Westwood, 3 and 2 , in the Round of 16. “But Lee has got the ticket. Basically it was either me or Lee was going to go. It's going to be a good fight. A shame to miss it. But for me it's obviously good being here.”
At least Woodland and Willett had Sunday’s semifinal match to ease the blow of not getting to watch the fight live. McIlroy, who said he bought his tickets as a birthday present to himself, didn’t make it to Las Vegas and may not make it to the semifinals.
McIlroy’s quarterfinal match against Paul Casey was called due to darkness at 8:03 p.m. (PT) with the group on the 21st hole. They will return to Harding Park on Sunday at 6:45 a.m. to complete the match.