Sunday, 03 May 2015
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

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  • Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey
Having been unable to force a result over 21 holes on Saturday, Rory McIlroy needed just one on Sunday to edge out Paul Casey and secure a place in the WGC – Cadillac Match Play semi-finals.

Resuming their contest on the first after remaining all square after three extra holes last night, McIlroy birdied the par five to progress after Casey duffed his initial chip.

The World Number One now faces Jim Furyk in the last four at TPC Harding Park, with England’s Danny Willett taking on Gary Woodland in the other semi-final.

“I really just wanted to try and get it done as early as possible,” said McIlroy, who was back out at 6.45am local time.

“I had two great shots in here to the first. I actually thought the second shot was going to end up better than it did, but thankfully two-putted from the front of the green.

“Paul had a great second shot, but got a little unlucky just to go over the back of the green.

“As I said, thankfully two putts and on to the semi-final.”

Casey had been sick overnight but refused to use that as an excuse, saying: "I saw my lunch again last night and just (felt) very weak, although I hit two great shots into the first and got a very sticky lie at the back of the green.

"The place it affected me most was actually looking down on the chip, I felt nauseous looking down. But I have nothing to complain about, I had an opportunity yesterday and did not shut the door.

"It's unfortunate but in seasons as long as ours there are moments through the year when you get sick. I'm a big fan of 'beware the injured or sick golfer' and I probably hit the best two shots on the first I have all week.

"My expectations were low but they did not stop me from trying. I am not going to put the par down to anything other than I should have hit the green in two or finished it yesterday."

The late finish on Saturday meant McIlroy had to watch the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on television in the media centre rather than from his ringside seat in Las Vegas.

"Honestly I am sort of glad I did not make it because it was sort of an anti-climax and Mayweather did what he usually does and danced around the ring and outpointed him," McIlroy said.

"I am glad to be here and hopefully I can finish the week off well."

After a swift turnaround, McIlroy was back out on the first and birdied again after getting on in two once more.

But this time Furyk was equal to it, holing from 18 feet to keep matters all square.

McIlroy did go ahead at the third, with Furyk failing to save par from off the green.
Former US Open Champion Furyk won the fourth with a par as McIlroy failed to get up-and-down, but the four-time Major winner went back in front with a birdie at the long next.

McIlroy spectacularly chipped in at the seventh, but Furyk followed him in for birdie from 20 feet to remain only one down.

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