SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - World number one and top seed Rory McIlroy routed Japan’s 16th seeded Hideki Matsuyama 6&5 Saturday to move through to the afternoon quarter-finals of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship.
The 25-year-old McIlroy pounded the 23-year-old Matsuyama, making quick work of his opponent to set up a date with England’s Paul Casey, who prevailed 3&1 against former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
The Northern Irishman started his run with a birdie on the second hole to go 1 up and the result was a foregone conclusion when he won four straight holes from the fifth to be 5 up.
While Matsuyama won his only hole of the match on the ninth, McIlroy quelled any thought of a comeback with a birdie and win on the 10th and another on the 12th that allowed him to close out the match on the 13th green.
“Definitely the best I’ve played scoring‑wise,” McIlroy said.
“I feel like tee to green it’s been pretty similar. I was able to take advantage of some of the good shots I was hitting today. I putted a lot better. I think I made six or seven birdies there in 13 holes.”
In other round of 16 action, 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen won 1 up over American Ricky Fowler to move to a matchup with American veteran Jim Furyk after the world number five took out countryman J.B. Holmes 5&3.
Danny Willett of England upset countryman Lee Westwood with a 3&2 win to book a place against another Englishman in the final eight.
The 27-year-old will play 24-year-old Tommy Fleetwood who won 2&1 against South African Branden Grace.
The final quarter-final match up will be between Australian John Senden and American Gary Woodland.
Senden, the 60th seed, continued his giant-killing ways by taking down 2012 champion and 2013 runner-up Hunter Mahan 2&1. Woodland beat Australian Marc Leishman 2&1 to advance.
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Editing by Gene Cherry