Wednesday 20 September 2017

Victory for Rory McIlroy in Austin after opponent Gary Woodland was forced to withdraw due to 'personal family matter'

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy was gifted victory in his second match in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after Thursday's scheduled opponent Gary Woodland withdrew due to a "personal family matter".

However, McIlroy's fate was still out of his hands with the man he lost to on day one, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen, needing only a half against Emiliano Grillo to advance to the last 16.

A day after defending champion Jason Day pulled out of the event to spend time with his mother as she undergoes treatment for lung cancer, Woodland also withdrew ahead of his group two clash with McIlroy at Austin Country Club.

A statement released by his management company read: "Due to a personal family matter, Gary Woodland must withdraw from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.

"We ask that you respect his family's privacy at this time."

Italy's Francesco Molinari also withdrew with a wrist injury after suffering a 5&3 defeat to Thongchai Jaidee, ensuring that Sweden's Alex Noren would advance from group eight.

Noren had defeated Bernd Wiesberger 3&2 to claim his second win of the week and was scheduled to play Molinari on Friday.

Elsewhere, Masters champion Danny Willett was eliminated with a game to spare after being thrashed 6&5 by American Bill Haas, while world number one Dustin Johnson made it two wins out of two by beating Martin Kaymer 3&2.

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