McIlroy, Woods knocked out

World number one Rory McIlroy and three-time winner Tiger Woods were both sent packing in stunning fashion in the snow-delayed first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Thursday.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, a losing finalist last year, was ousted 1-up by his good friend Shane Lowry of Ireland while Woods was eliminated 2&1 by fellow American Charles Howell in fading light at Dove Mountain.

Once again the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event lived up to its reputation for wild unpredictability and there were 14 upsets from the 30 matches which finished at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

Two matches will have to be completed on Friday, a knock-on effect from Wednesday when just three-and-a-half hours of play was possible because of driving rain, sleet and then snow.

The premature departure of McIlroy in his first PGA Tour appearance of the year was stunning, but Lowry always believed he had the game to pull off an upset win.

Woods, Match Play champion in 2003, 2004 and 2008, was eliminated at the first hurdle for a third time at the event.

"I played well, I really did," said the world number two. "I hit a lot of good shots out there. I didn't make a bogey out there. Unfortunately it's the nature of the format, and I'm not advancing."

Howell, who has played Woods several times in practice, was delighted to beat the former world number one for the first time.

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