Top trio crash out
Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson were ousted in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) second round of the World Golf Championships Match-Play Championship in Marana, Arizona, leaving no top seeds among the final 16 players.
England's Rose, the reigning US Open champion, was the last lead man in his quarter of the bracket to fall, being taken out in 20 holes by four-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa.
After winning 17th to square the match and halving 18th with pars, Els matched Rose with a nine-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.
Els lofted a pitch to three feet on the last hole to win as Rose took two shots to escape a bunker.
"It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots really," Els said.
"I was in the downhill on the back of the bunker. I caught it a smidge thin and it came out perfectly. It was an impossible shot but obviously it was the right one at the time."
Els set up a third-round match-up with 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, who eliminated Italy's Matteo Manassero 2&1.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, dispatched Sweden's third-ranked Stenson 4&3 while American Harris English defeated McIlroy in 19 holes.
Stenson's defeat continues a trend in which the overall highest-ranked starter at the US$9 million ($11.4m) event has not gone beyond the second round since 2008.
Oosthuizen never trailed, going 2-up after an 18-foot eagle at the second.
He took the 12th when Stenson missed a 16-foot par putt and then sank a 20-foot birdie on 15th for the triumph.
Oosthuizen will next face American Webb Simpson, who ousted countryman Brandt Snedeker 4&3, and could meet Australian second seed Jason Day in the quarter-finals.
Day needed 22 holes to eliminate American Billy Horschel. Day, third at the event last year, next meets South African George Coetzee, who beat American Patrick Reed in 21 holes.
"It was a tough one," Day said. "Doesn't matter how you get it done, find a way to win."
McIlroy took a bogey at 10 and two penalty strokes in the Arizona desert on 11th to fall to 2-down, but battled back with three birdies to go 1-up after 16th, only to have English sink a 19-foot birdie at 17th. McIlroy fell by making a double-bogey on the first extra hole.
English next faces Jim Furyk with that winner to meet either Sergio Garcia or American Rickie Fowler. Garcia, another second seed, outlasted American Bill Haas 3&1 and Fowler edged out US compatriot Jimmy Walker 1-up, beating the only winner of three US PGA Tour events this season.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, two down with four holes to play, edged out Japan's Hideki Matsuyama 1-up to book a third-round date with American Hunter Mahan, who ousted South African Richard Sterne 2&1.
Also through to the last 16 at the 64-player event is Victor Dubuisson, who dispatched Swedish 15th seed Peter Hanson 3&1. - AFP.