McIlroy exits WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy crashed out of the WGC-Dell Match Play on Thursday without hitting a shot.

The former champion was due to face American Gary Woodland at the Texas tournament after losing his opening contest of the qualification stage against Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen.

But Woodland withdrew from the contest at Austin Country Club because of a “personal family matter” which left Kjeldsen needing to only draw his match with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo to reach the last 16.

Kjeldsen managed to triumph comfortably after winning four successive holes to beat Grillo 4&3.

Elsewhere, Phil Mickelson made it two wins out of two after a 5&4 victory over Daniel Berger. It leaves the veteran American only requiring a draw against JB Holmes on Friday to guarantee his continued participation.

Even a loss could be enough for Mickelson, as he would have a second chance to qualify in a sudden-death play-off.

"I went out today and played the first eight holes and was four up; I just want to do that [against Holmes],” said Mickelson.

“I don't know how my opponent will play. If I just play solid golf, it should be enough."

World number four Hideki Matsuyama suffered a 2&1 defeat to England’s Ross Fisher, who will secure a place at next month’s Masters if he beats Jim Furyk on Friday.