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Phil Mickelson loses match to Stewart Cink

Northern Ireland teen Rory McIlroy advances to quarterfinals by defeating Tim Clark

February 28, 2009|Associated Press

Teenage sensation Rory McIlroy did his part to put some excitement back into the Accenture Match Play Championship, advancing to the quarterfinals by crushing the player who knocked out Tiger Woods.

The same could not be said for Phil Mickelson, who failed to reach the weekend for the fifth straight year.

McIlroy, the 19-year-old from Northern Ireland who keeps adding credentials to be the next young star, built a 4-up lead after six holes and never gave Tim Clark of South Africa a chance to catch up in a 4-and-3 victory at Marana, Ariz.

"Tim didn't play his best golf today -- understandably," McIlroy said. "He was probably a little flat after all that happened yesterday. And I came out and got off to quite a fast start."

One day after Clark was practically flawless in sending Woods home early from Dove Mountain, hardly anything went right. It was the third straight time that a player who beat Woods in this tournament lost in the next round.

Mickelson had not trailed all week until Stewart Cink ran off three straight birdies to build a 3-up lead after four holes. Mickelson rallied to square the match twice, and both times let it get away. His last chance was a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, which missed below the cup, and Cink had a 1-up win.

Ernie Els, in the quarterfinals for only the second time, had a 1-up lead on the 18th tee when Luke Donald felt a twinge in his left wrist and decided to concede the match instead of risking further injury. Donald had surgery on that wrist six months ago, and only returned to competition in December.

Els has not trailed in any of his three matches and next plays Cink.

In other matches:

* Geoff Ogilvy took advantage of shaky putting by Camilo Villegas for a 2-and-1 victory, raising his career record to 14-2.

* Paul Casey of England built a quick lead and beat Peter Hanson of Sweden, 3 and 2.

* Ross Fisher of England made seven birdies in beating Jim Furyk, 4 and 3.

* Sean O'Hair lost the first two holes, then won three straight holes on the back nine to beat Ian Poulter, 2 and 1.

* Justin Leonard chipped in for birdie on the 17th hole, then watched Oliver Wilson of England roll in a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th. Leonard won with a par on the first extra hole, the only match to go overtime Friday.


Kevin Na shot an eight-under-par 62 to zoom into a first-place tie with Mark Wilson (64) midway through Mayakoba Golf Classic at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. First-round leader Bo Van Pelt (69) and J.J. Henry (66) were two strokes back. . . . Brittany Lang shot a three-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead over compatriots Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer after the second round of the $1.45-million LPGA tournament at Pattaya, Thailand. Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa is three strokes behind Lang after a 69.

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