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McIlroy given walkover win - but not enough to prevent WGC Match Play exit

Gary Woodland forced to withdraw due to “a personal family matter.”

McIlroy: frustration.
McIlroy: frustration.

Updated 11pm

RORY MCILROY WAS eliminated from the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play without swinging a club on Thursday, his fate sealed by the sudden withdrawal of group rival Gary Woodland.

Woodland conceded his group game against McIlroy for personal reasons, handing the world number two a victory a day after his shock defeat to Soren Kjeldsen.

“Due to a personal family matter, Gary Woodland must withdraw from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play,” a statement issued by Woodland’s agent Mark Steinberg read.

“We ask that you respect his family’s privacy at this time.”

With Kjeldsen having already beaten McIlroy and being assured of a walkover from his scheduled game against Woodland on Friday, he was able to guarantee his place in the last 16 with a win or a half against Emiliano Grillo. The Danish veteran won 4&3.

Woodland is 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He later revealed he had withdrawn to be with his mother, who is battling lung cancer.

The tournament in Texas sees the field split into 16 groups of four players who play each other on a round robin basis through Friday.

The 16 group winners then advance to the knockout rounds starting on Saturday.

© – AFP, 2017

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