Rory survives, Spieth knocked out at Match Play

Fri May 1, 2015 10:23pm EDT
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By Ben Everill

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy fought back from two holes down with two to play to beat Billy Horschel at the WGC-Match Play Championship on Friday, while Masters champion Jordan Spieth was knocked out after losing to Lee Westwood.

McIlroy buried a 24-footer for birdie to win the 17th then birdied the last to square the match with FedEx Cup champion Horschel, who faltered with a bogey at the second extra hole to send his opponent into the last 16.

McIlroy, who will play Japan's Hideki Matsuyama in the next round, said he picked the perfect time to hit his best putt of the day on 17.

"Obviously you make the putt or you are going home,” he said. "Hit the best putt that I hit all day, thankfully.

"When I got him up to 18, I knew just try and keep the pressure on him and somehow I was able to turn it around.”

England’s Westwood beat Spieth 2 up, fighting back from an early deficit and ramming home an important 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th to wrestle a lead he would not relinquish.

After missing an 11-foot birdie putt on the first and then making bogey on the second hole, Westwood was two down out of the blocks.

A Spieth bogey on six and a 13-foot birdie putt for Westwood on the ninth squared the match at the turn.   Continued...

May 1, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Rory McIlroy tees off at the seventh hole during day three of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports