Saturday, 26 March 2016
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy's WGC-Dell Match Play marathon looked set to continue on Saturday afternoon as he reached the turn all square in his quarter-final against Chris Kirk.

The third seed needed 55 holes to prevail from the group stages at Austin Country Club and then went another 18 against Zach Johnson in the last 16 to win by one hole and extend his unbeaten run at this event to 11 matches.

The defending champion was looking comfortable as he jumped out to a two hole lead after four holes but Kirk won the fifth and the ninth to reel him in.

McIlroy hit a wonderful approach and made an 11-footer to move ahead with a birdie on the first and when Kirk got in trouble on the fourth after putting his tee-shot over the green, the lead was two holes.

A wayward tee-shot from McIlroy resulted in the Northern Irishman taking a drop and Kirk capitalised with a birdie to reduce the gap, before a missed short putt resulted in a McIlroy bogey on the ninth and things were level at the turn.

Jason Day or Brooks Koepka awaits the winner, with the Australian knowing a victory in the quarter-finals will move him back to Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking.

But that clash was also all square after eight holes, with both men having made two birdies.

Day put his approach to the third to seven feet to go one up but he missed a four-footer on the fifth to allow Koepka to get back on level terms with an excellent birdie.

Koepka moved ahead with another on the next but Day levelled things up once more with the help of a 13-foot putt on the eighth.

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