McIlroy faces stiff competition

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Rory McIlroy has been handed a tough draw for the new-look WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship in San Francisco.

The World No 1 has been grouped with three formidable Americans – former PGA champion Jason Dufner, former FedEx Cup winner Jason Dufner and seven-time PGA Tour titlist Brandt Snedeker.

The tournament’s new format sees the current top 16 in the world rankings each placed in a different group, to be joined by three players drawn from pools depending on their current rankings.

Between Wednesday and Friday, there will be round-robin matches between the four players in each group, with the winners advancing to face off in a knockout format over the weekend.

McIlroy’s title bid starts with a match against Dufner on Wednesday.

Should he progress past the group stage, he’ll advance to face the winner of Group 16, headlined by Hideki Matsuyama and also featuring Kevin Na, Joost Luiten and Alexander Levy.

Lee Westwood, meanwhile, will have to contend with Masters champion Jordan Spieth, as well as Matt Every and Mikko Ilonen, a late entry into the 64-man field following the withdrawal of Phil Mickelson.

Sunday’s Zurich Classic champion Justin Rose will be up against Ryan Palmer, Anirban Lahiri and Marc Leishman.

Group 4 sees Bubba Watson take on Louis Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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