CA­SU­ALTY

New Straits Times - - Sport - SOREN KJELD­SEN

the knock­out stage to­day.

Af­ter los­ing to Dane Soren Kjeld­sen on Wed­nes­day, McIl­roy got a win on Thurs­day when his sched­uled op­po­nent Gary Wood­land with­drew, cit­ing per­sonal fam­ily rea­sons.

Even with that walkover, how­ever, McIl­roy still needed Kjeld­sen to lose his sec­ond match to have any chance of ad­vanc­ing out of the round-robin group stage.

But Kjeld­sen duly shut the door on the North­ern Irish­man, beat­ing Ar­gen­tine Emil­iano Grillo 4&3 on Thurs­day to im­prove to 20-0.

Kjeld­sen said he rel­ished the went back to some sim­ple feels and played awe­some.”

Shar­ing fourth on 68 were France’s Karine Icher, Amer­i­cans tough con­di­tions.

“I’m brought up in this,” he said. “The way I play golf, I like to shape shots, like to change the tra­jec­tory. When I saw it be­ing windy to­day I was re­ally happy.”

Swede Alexan­der Noren is also guar­an­teed of be­ing part of the sweet 16, af­ter beat­ing Aus­trian Bernd Wies­berger 3&2.

McIl­roy was not the only high­lyranked player elim­i­nated from the fi­nal 16 with World No 4Hideki Mat­suyama also mak­ing an early exit af­ter los­ing to English­man Ross Fisher 2&1.

The wind caused all sorts of prob­lems and a wa­tery grave for many a ball, even a shank by Amer­i­can Charles How­ell, who had no prob­lem as­sign­ing the blame to the con­di­tions.

“(It was) dif­fi­cult enough to cause a shank,” he said af­ter es­cap­ing with a 1-up win over Ali­son Lee and Marissa Steen, South Korea’s Lee Mi-Rim and Kim Hyo-Joo and Thai­land’s Moriya Ju­tanu­garn. AFP Spa­niard Rafa Cabr­era-Bello.

Phil Mick­el­son, who im­proved to 2-0-0 thanks to a 5&4 thump­ing of fel­low Amer­i­can Daniel Berger, said it was for­tu­nate that the match play for­mat was be­ing used rather than stroke play, given the c o n d itions.

“Given the sever­ity of the greens and so forth, cer­tainly there are holes we’re go­ing to look ridicu­lous on,” he said af­ter chip­ping clean across a green into a wa­ter haz­ard.

“I think it’s fun and it’s great for match play be­cause you don’t worry about the stroke. It’s just rel­a­tive to your op­po­nent.” Reuters

The way I play golf, I like to shape shots, like to change the tra­jec­tory. When I saw it be­ing windy to­day I was re­ally happy.

AFP PIC

Ly­dia Ko strug­gled with her put­ting in the KIA Clas­sic in Carls­bad, Cal­i­for­nia on Thurs­day.

Rory McIl­roy

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