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McIlroy bows out; Kjeldsen advances in WGC Match Play

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Author: AFPFri, 2017-03-24ID: 1490362669632376300MIAMI: Second-ranked Rory McIlroy was eliminated from title contention Thursday at the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play after group rival Gary Woodland withdrew and Soren Kjeldsen won his second consecutive match.Denmark’s Kjeldsen, barely in the field at 62nd in the world rankings, defeated Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo 4 and 3 to end McIlroy’s hopes a day after a shock victory over the four-time major winner from Northern Ireland.The situation was created after Woodland conceded his second-round group match with McIlroy for personal reasons, handing him a victory but also giving Kjeldsen a walkover in their scheduled Friday matchup.The Dane will advance to the knockout stage round of 16 on Saturday after a 3-0 finish in the group while the best McIlroy can do is 2-1 even if he defeats Grillo on Friday.Grillo began birdie-par to win the first two holes over Kjeldsen in windy conditions but the Dane birdied two of the next four holes to square the match. Kjeldsen won the first four holes on the back nine, taking the 10th and par-5 12th with birdies, and despite a bogey to drop the 14th clinched the match with a six-foot par putt at 15.“I’m brought up in this,” Kjeldsen said of the blustery conditions where wind gusts reached 45mph. “I like to shape shots. I like to change trajectory. I like to play golf in this where you have got to be really creative.“When I saw it was windy today I was very happy.”While McIlroy has a meaningless match, Kjeldsen said he plans to spend his unexpectedly free Friday with his children after Woodland’s withdrawal.“Due to a personal family matter, Gary Woodland must withdraw from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play,” said a statement issued by Woodland’s agent, Mark Steinberg. “We ask that you respect his family’s privacy at this time.”Woodland was the second golfer to withdraw from the tournament for personal reasons.On Wednesday, distraught Australian star Jason Day conceded his match against American Pat Perez after only six holes at Austin Country Club.He later revealed he had withdrawn to be with his mother, who is battling lung cancer.
Main category: Sports

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