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Sports

McIlroy Cruises As Lefty Loses

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 24, 2013 at 03:18 AM
MARANA, Ariz. -

Teenage sensation Rory McIlroy did his part to put some excitement back into the Accenture Match Play Championship, advancing to the quarterfinals by crushing the player who knocked out Tiger Woods.

The same could not be said for Phil Mickelson, who failed to reach the weekend for the fifth straight year.

McIlroy, the 19-year-old from Northern Ireland who keeps adding credentials to be the next young star, built a 4-up lead after six holes and never gave Tim Clark of South Africa a chance to catch up in a 4-and-3 victory Friday.

He is three matches away from becoming the youngest winner in the history of American professional golf.

Mickelson had not trailed all week until Stewart Cink ran off three straight birdies to build a 3-up lead after four holes. Mickelson rallied to square the match twice, and both times let it get away.

Lefty hit his tee shot into a desert bush on the 15th hole and fell behind, then tied it on the 16th when Cink missed the green. But on the next hole, Mickelson's third shot from a desert waste area sailed over the gallery, and he missed a 4-foot bogey putt to lose the hole. His last chance was a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, which missed below the cup.

Ernie Els, in the quarterfinals for only the second time, had a 1-up lead on the 18th tee when Luke Donald felt a twinge in his left wrist and decided to concede the match instead of risking further injury. Donald had surgery on that wrist six months ago, and only returned to competition in December.

Elsewhere Geoff Ogilvy edged out Camilo Villegas 2-and-1, and Paul Casey built a quick lead to beat Peter Hanson 3 and 2. Also advancing were Ross Fisher, Sean O'Hair and Justin Leonard.

PGA: Kevin Na went to Mexico seeking to build on a terrific start and certainly has. He shot an 8-under 62 to zoom into a first-place tie with Mark Wilson (64) midway through the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

LPGA: American Brittany Lang shot a 3-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead over compatriots Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer after the second round of the $1.45 million LPGA Thailand.

EUROPEAN: England's Steve Webster shot a 3-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Indonesian Open.

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