It was another desert, another championship, another continent but as day turned quickly into night on Thursday the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship felt eerily similar to last month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
All that was missing was a bizarre rules snafu and last-minute putter switch, but even those distinctions faded to darkness as the worst-case scenario became reality. For the first time in over a decade the top two seeded players won’t see the second round.
For world No. 1 Rory McIlroy it was a 1-up decision to mate Shane Lowry and another short work week that brings his year-to-date total of competitive rounds to three. While No. 2 Tiger Woods failed to make it to Friday at the Match Play for the fourth consecutive year following a 2-and-1 twilight loss to Charles Howell III.