Rory McIlroy out of Match Play Championship without playing a shot


Rory McIlroy will not induce the final 16 of the WGC Match Play Championship after he was knocked out on Thursday without making a ball as his adversary Gary Woodland withdrew

Rory McIlroy must hope his quota of 2017 calamity has now been used up. The rib hurt which interrupted the initial stages of his Lords preparation are liable to be entrust to history but there was further cause for McIlroy to question whatever happened to the luck of the Irish on Thursday, as Gary Woodlands withdrawal from the WGC Match Play Championship coupled with the second largest win for Soren Kjeldsen intended the four-time major winner was removed without making a single shooting in anger.

It will barely improve McIlroys mood that he must face Emiliano Grillo in a Friday a dead rubber. Weather disruption has been predicted, as if for good measuring. If McIlroy dons a Green Jacket a fortnight on Sunday, he really will have enjoyed the last laugh.

Only half an hour before McIlroy was due to face Woodland, news emanated that the American had drawn out of the tournament. A statement from Woodlands management company cited a personal family situation. McIlroy was duly awarded a walkover but the key element was Kjeldsen benefiting from the same on Friday. If Kjeldsen could procure at the least a halved are compatible with Grillo, the inspired Dane having thumped McIlroy on day one, his progress from Group 2 was certain.

Unsurprisingly in gusting conditions of more than 30 mph, Kjeldsen prevailed by 4& 3. Perhaps McIlroy should look on the bright side; he will now be afforded a quieter time in the immediate lead-up to the Lords than has historically been the case. Freshness should come naturally. The alternative, worrying aspect is attached to McIlroy potentially absence competitive golf.

Sergio Garca enjoyed a more fruitful Thursday, his win over Kevin Chappell signifying a Spanish battle to reaching the last 16 against Jon Rahm on day three. Rahm, whose sun is on the rapid increase, defeated Shane Lowry 2& 1.

Bubba Watson ricochetted back to prominence on day two here with a 4& 3 win over Scott Piercy, during which he birdied six of the opening 12 pits. Afterwards Watson explained how a wintertime fitness drive he has limited sugar in his diet had unforeseen results. His 2017 kind has been notably poor.

The adjustment has been losing about 20 lb and get out of whack with ball stance, with everything, chipping, putting, driving, irons, everything, Watson said. A light went off last week and we figured it out. I played good on Sunday, worked on it hard the coming week and were on the right track right now.

I still have sugar, natural sugar, I feed fruit and all those things. Im just trying to cut out and feed cleaner, get in better shape so I can walk up these mounds every once in a while. I went to Augusta a week ago and practised for a couple of periods. It all come to ball-striking. It doesnt matter what your kind is. I can win every tournament leading up to the Masters, that doesnt mean youre going to play good at the Masters.

Result of the day, perhaps, belonged to the US Ryder Cup captain, Jim Furyk, as he defeated Louis Oosthuizen 3& 2. The South African has a terrific match-play record and reached the final here 12 months ago. You know youve got your hands full when you are playing against him, said Furyk. He made some mistakes today. I didnt realize Louis at his best.

Ross Fishers victory over Hideki Matsuyama was significant with the Lords in intellect. Fisher is seeking to gain enough world ranking levels the coming week to earn an invitation to Augusta. On Friday he will face Furyk, whom he defeated in the World Match Play of 2009. Obviously I know Jim very well, Fisher said. Hes such a gritty challenger, very solid. He doesnt induce many mistakes. Its about to become a tough play. If I want to win, I have to play very, very well.

The world No1, Dustin Johnson, attempting a third tournament win in a row, determined off Martin Kaymer 3& 2. Matthew Fitzpatrick emerged victorious from an all-English clash with Chris Wood and Phil Mickelson rejected Daniel Berger 5& 4. Danny Willetts poor operate continued as he was humbled 6& 5 by Bill Haas.

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