Match Play exits for seeds Stenson and McIlroy
(Reuters) - The sheer lottery of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was again front and center on Thursday as top seed Henrik Stenson of Sweden and fourth-seeded Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy were both eliminated in the second round.
Stenson, the 2007 champion, never led before going down 4&3 to South African Louis Oosthuizen while McIlroy lost a see-sawing encounter with American Harris English after 19 holes at Dove Mountain.
McIlroy, beaten by American Hunter Mahan in the 2012 final, had clawed his way back from two down after 13 holes to edge one up after 16 on another breezy day of dazzling sunshine in Arizona's high desert.
However, English levelled the match with a birdie at the par-four 17th and sealed victory after his opponent made a compete hash of the 19th.
"Obviously a little bit disappointed with how I finished," McIlroy told reporters. "Being two down with five to go, playing the last five holes like I did, I was happy about that.
"I didn't hit the greatest drive off the 19th and got a pretty bad lie in the rough. It was just unfortunate. I played pretty well for the most part.
"But, you know, he played really solid today and didn't really do much wrong, didn't really give me anything. So the more consistent player won at the end of the day."
English will next face Jim Furyk, the PGA Tour veteran having beaten former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa 3&2.
Oosthuizen won three of the first four holes against a sub-par Stenson and maintained control before ending the match with a birdie at the par-four 15th. Continued...