Irishman Lowry stuns McIlroy at Match Play

Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:35pm EST
 

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - Ireland's Shane Lowry knew "deep down" that he could beat Rory McIlroy and drew on that self-belief to pull off a stunning upset over the world number one in the snow-delayed first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Thursday.

Ranked 68th in the world, Lowry chipped in twice for birdie after the turn to take control against his good friend before getting up and down from a greenside bunker to par the 18th and seal victory in fading light at Dove Mountain.

"I'm very happy to be honest," Lowry told reporters. "Obviously it was always going to be a tough match for me against Rory today, playing against the world number one. I'm feeling quite good now.

"Deep down I knew I could beat him. I'm not here for no reason. I'm not here to make up the numbers.

"But it's important not to get too high now because it's only the first round. I've got another match tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to playing that."

The 25-year-old Lowry will next meet either Swede Carl Pettersson or American Rickie Fowler, who will have to complete their first-round match early on Friday. Pettersson was one up after 17 holes.

"I didn't make enough birdies in the end," said the 23-year-old McIlroy. "Shane had a nice little stretch around part of the back nine. I hung in there, but I just didn't do enough.

"I probably would have lost by more if I had played someone else in the field. It wasn't a great quality match. I missed a lot of irons right."   Continued...

 
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts after hitting out of the sand on the 18th in loss to Shane Lowry of Ireland during the weather delayed first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship golf tournament in Marana, Arizona February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph Freso