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Last updated: 22nd February 2013

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Rory McIlroy: Lost an all-Irish affair

Rory McIlroy: Lost an all-Irish affair

When the snow finally cleared and play got on the way, a number of big names made early exits at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The world's top two players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, as well as Lee Westwood and Adam Scott all stumbled at the first hurdle in Tucson.

Having seen the first day called off after snow blanketed the course and with the start of play delayed on Thursday, the players would have been eager to get out on the course, but McIlroy and Woods may be left wishing they had remained snowed under.

McIlroy fell at the hands of Irishman Shane Lowry who fought back from being two down early on to secure a 1up victory.

It was early on the back nine that Lowry made his move, chipping in at 11 and 12 before bagging an eagle on 13.

"We both gave each other a few holes and I hit too many loose iron shots out there. I drove the ball really well I just couldn't take advantage of that," McIlroy said after his loss.

"I probably should have been three or four up after five holes but I let him get back into the match."

Unlike McIlroy, Woods was never on top in his clash with Charles Howell III, losing 2&1.

Woods evened the matched by taking the 13th hole, but had nothing left in his bag as Howell birdied 15 and 16 to see Woods' challenge end on the penultimate hole.

"It's the nature of the format," said Woods. "You've just got to beat the guy you're playing against, and I didn't do that today. Chucky won the match."

Westwood was another high profile name to fall, with the Englishman beaten at the first extra hole by Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain.

World number seven Scott was edged out by South African Tim Clark whose compatriot Louis Oosthuizen also progressed to the second round.

In other surprise results, Keegan Bradley was beaten by Australia's Marcus Fraser and Alex Noren hammered Dustin Johnson 6&4

A birdie on the last saw Luke Donald sneak through against Marcel Siem while Graeme McDowell got the better of Padraig Harrington 2up.

Only two first-round matches were not completed on Thursday, what should have been the second day of play, with Carl Pettersson one up on Rickie Fowler through 17 and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Francesco Molinari all square after 15 holes.



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