sport

McIlroy dumped out by English

Rory McIlroy slumped out of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship after being taken to a 19th hole by American Harris English.

World number seven McIlroy appeared to have victory in his second-round match at Dove Mountain within his grasp as he hit form on the back nine.

The Northern Irishman won four out of five holes to lead by one after 16 but English, impressive winner over Lee Westwood in round one, replied to take the contest to sudden death.

It was at the first extra hole that McIlroy's touch deserted him as he failed to recover from a poor tee shot.

He went wide to the left and could then only pitch into desert rough between a bush and a tree. From there he overshot the green and there was no way back.

It was a disappointing end to a high-quality contest in which few other holes had been settled by mistakes.

English twice led on the front nine but his successes on the second and seventh were immediately cancelled out by McIlroy and the match was all square again at the turn.

McIlroy might have rued a missed putt at the ninth that would have put him ahead when English struck out by taking the 10th and 11th.

But McIlroy, whose iron play had been outstanding, found his touch on the greens to win the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th, all with birdies, and edge ahead for the first time.

But English stemmed that momentum with a birdie of his own at 17 and he held his nerve to prevail on the 19th.