World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship - Round One (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy is heading The European Tour challenge in the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play at Dove Mountain, Tucson, Arizona after overcoming Tim Clark.
The nerveless teenager from Northern Ireland controlled his match from start to finish en route to a 4 and 3 win over Clark, who had seen off Tiger Woods in the second round.
It is another step in the meteoric rise of McIlroy as he continues to answer every challenge he is set.
McIlroy finished the match off on the 15th to reach the last eight, where he is likely to face Geoff Ogilvy.
The Australian holds a commanding three up lead over Colombia’s Camilo Villegas with four holes to play.
It looks like another good day for players from The European Tour - who had a record 47 representatives in the desert this week - with Ross Fisher, Ernie Els and McIlroy through and Paul Casey leading his match.
Els always had the edge over Luke Donald, and the fine form that Els has shown all week eventually saw him through when Donald conceded at the 18th.
In a match which was always nip and tuck Donald hit the pin on the 16th which forced Els to hole a five foot putt to retain a slender edge going into the final two holes.
Donald’s second to the 17th established an advantage but Els went close with his third as the hole was again halved.
The Englishman was eventually forced to concede the final hole after feeling some discomfort in his wrist - an injury which kept him out for much of 2008.
Els will face either Stewart Cink in the last eight, after the American overcame compatriot Phil Mickelson one up.
Fisher holed a monster putt from 40 feet at the 12th to get back to three up in his match with Jim Furyk.
The American was very close to halving the hole as he shot from the bunker and rattled the pin but the ball stayed out.
Furyk - with a wealth of experience to draw upon - pulled a shot back at the 13th but Fisher won the 14th and birdied the 15th from six feet to win the contest 4 and 3.
Casey continued his excellent form this week as he gave Swede Peter Hanson a torrid time to go five up after 13 holes.
Casey is in the sort of form that he showed in winning the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship last month and he is likely to be a threat at the weekend.
Justin Leonard and Oliver Wilson are still trading blows in a contest that has been tight from start to finish.
Wilson has kept himself in it after holing out following Leonard lipping out on a lengthy putt on the 11th.
The Englishman then hit a superb tee shot on the par three 12th to within five feet of the hole to edge ahead but he not hold the advantage for long as Leonard fought back to lie all square after 14.
Sean O’Hair is one up on Ian Poulter after 12 holes.