WGC Match Play: Tiger Woods beats Rory McIlroy 2 & 1

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Woods had three birdies for McIlroy & two;

Triple champion Tiger Woods went to the WGC Match Play quarter-finals with a 2 & 1 win in his long-awaited duel with Rory McIlroy.

In the first match-playing meeting between the two, 2015 McIlroy missed a series of putts to the right and three-putted the 10th to go down three.

Woods continued from 13 feet on the 17th for a par and will meet rookie Lucas Bjerregaard in the final eight.

World number two Justin Rose suffered a surprise two up defeat to Kevin Na.

McIlroy powered a 340-yard ride in the middle of the first fairway but Woods responded by sending his shot three yards away.

Woods also had the good of things on the greens and made consecutive birdies from four feet to two after six, although his tripe allowed McIlroy to win the 12th with his first birdie.

When the clouds darkened and the wind increased significantly from the north, McIlroy, who had lost only three holes in his previous three games and never stayed behind, had the next five-foot birdied to make up the deficit to one shrink.

He hit a ride of 395 yards on the par-five 16th, but a bad shot with a wedge left him with a predicament and he went through the green with his third to an unplayable line before he got a bunker found and admitted the hole.

Rose was two higher after 11 holes against world number 60 Na, but the American won the next four holes with three birdies.

In the battle for two European Ryder Cup teammates, Francesco Molinari rose to a 5 & 4 win over Paul Casey.

It was his ninth consecutive win in the draw, after five Ryder Cup in Paris last year.

Molinari was three after 12 and Casey continued to fall behind the next after finding the water with his tee shot.

The quarter-finals take place on Saturday.

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