McIlroy to face Horschel

European Tour

Rory McIlroy will face old rival Billy Horschel for a place in the last 16 at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.

The duo first squared off at the Walker Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down, just down the road from where McIlroy grew up. The American’s on-course antics seemed to rattle the Northern Irishman, who would lose his first two matches, though he would rally to win the final two.

Fast forward nearly nine years and the pair are set to face-off again, only this time on a much grander stage.

“We played two matches…he won the first and I won the second,” recollected the world number one on Sky Sports.

“We are good now but back then we were both a little younger and more emotional. It was pretty heated. I don’t think tomorrow will be quite like that but you need to win or you are going home.”

Horschel is also looking forward to the tie.

“I know he is going to be amped up to play me and I am going to be amped up to play him,” said the 28-year-old.

“We have a track record together and when we have played each other we’ve played our best golf and I would not expect anything less tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler was two down with six holes to play against Irishman Shane Lowry. The American pulled it back and made three lengthy putts to halve holes, including a 30-footer, before a birdie on the last would seal the win.

“I feel bad to do that to him but it was nice to finally make some putts,” quipped the Open Championship runner-up.

“It would have been nice if we were throwing birdies at each other but my back was up against the wall and I needed to make those putts for par to keep the match going.”

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