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Dublin: 1°C Saturday 10 April 2021

McIlroy's late finish meant he missed a trip to Las Vegas but his tickets didn't go to waste

Rory hasn’t always been one for time management, has he?

WORLD NUMBER ONE Rory McIlroy and England’s Paul Casey battled to a standstill in the $9.25 million WGC-Championship Match Play in California Saturday and face a dawn start to resume their match for a place in the last four.

McIlroy’s quarter-final showdown at Harding Park went to three extra play-offs holes before darkness halted proceedings with the sudden death battle to resume this afternoon.

It all meant McIlroy, who had seats for Saturday night’s Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in Las Vegas, was forced to watch the much anticipated fight in the company of journalists at the WGC media centre instead.

McIlroy bought tickets for the fight despite admitting earlier in the week it would be a tight schedule if he advanced to the knock-out stages in California.

After hammering Hideki Matsuyama earlier on Saturday, McIlroy insisted his golf takes priority over everything else.

“There are two tickets, one of which will be used by a good friend of mine, the other we will have to wait and see. There is a slot (for a private plane) out of San Francisco getting into Vegas, but we will see if I can make it or not.”

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That seat, as it turned out, was taken up by Lee Westwood who was knocked out by fellow Englishman Danny Willett.

Meanwhile, the winner of the quarter-final between McIlroy and Casey will face fifth-ranked Jim Furyk in the semi-finals.

In Sunday’s other semi-final, Willett, ranked 49, will face Gary Woodland of the United States, the world number 52.

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Ryan Bailey

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