sport

McIlroy v Lowry at Match Play

Rory McIlroy will take on fellow Irishman Shane Lowry in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Tiger Woods starts his campaign against compatriot Charles Howell III.

McIlroy - who was beaten in last year's final by Hunter Mahan - has not played competitively since his seasonal debut in Abu Dhabi where, using his new Nike clubs, he missed the cut following successive rounds of 75.

McIlroy's clash with Lowry is one of eight all-European ties in the first round at Dove Mountain in Arizona and there is another all-Irish affair with Ulsterman Graeme McDowell facing Dubliner Padraig Harrington.

Third seed, and 2011 champion, Luke Donald has been handed a first round contest with Germany's Marcel Siem, while Lee Westwood opens against Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

The other European ties see Jamie Donaldson tackle Thorbjorn Olesen, Peter Hanson face fellow Scandinavian Thomas Bjorn and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano take on Francesco Molinari.

Renowned match play specialist Ian Poulter, who won the title in 2010, gets underway against Scotland's Stephen Gallacher, while fifth seed Justin Rose will face KJ Choi of Korea.

Defending champion Mahan faces an intriguing opening clash with rising Italian star Matteo Manassero who beat Webb Simpson in the opening round 12 months ago.

Fourth seed Louis Oosthuizen will face Scotland's Richie Ramsay first up, while sixth seeded Adam Scott starts against Tim Clark of South Africa.