Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the world’s top-ranked golfers, lost in the first round of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship.
Top-seeded McIlroy of Northern Ireland lost when Ireland’s Shane Lowry sank a four-foot par putt on the 18th hole yesterday. The first round was delayed a day by snow at The Golf Club on Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona.
“It’s definitely a day I’m going to remember,” Lowry told reporters after he became the third player in the last four years to topple the No. 1 seed in the opening round.
Woods was defeated on the 17th hole by fellow American Charles Howell III, who played a bogey-free round.
“I had nothing to lose,” Howell said. “In this format, match play is crazy. He’s Tiger Woods. I was lucky to hang in there.”
Carl Pettersson of Sweden was 1-up on American Rickie Fowler on the 18th hole when play was suspended last night before Lowry’s next opponent could be determined. Howell also didn’t know who he would face in the second round -- Francesco Molinari of Italy and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, who were tied through 15 holes, will finish their first-round match today.
England’s Luke Donald eliminated Marcel Siem of Germany 1-up and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa downed Scotland’s Richie Ramsay 2 and 1. Donald and Oosthuizen are the remaining top seeds.
Second-round matches will begin today after the completion of the final two first-round matches. The third round and quarterfinals will be played tomorrow.