McIlroy unceremoniously hoisted and dumped by Crane

Rory McIlroy suffered the beating of his young life here at the Accenture Match Play Championship yesterday as the head-to-head format once again displayed its penchant for the unexpected. Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson both joined the young Ulsterman in this big-name exodus on a day of shocks.

It is safe to say, McIlroy has never been on the wrong end of an 8&7 scoreline before. It also safe to say that very few here believed the American Ben Crane was capable of delivering such a thrashing. "That's match play," said McIlroy, pointing to Crane's scorecard which featured seven birdies in the 11 holes. "I've done it to people before but that's one of the first times it happened to me."

McIlroy took it well as portrayed by his response to an abusive tweet which told him, "You got your arce kicked today." "It's actually ARSE," replied McIlroy. "But yes, I did." He could also console himself with the good company he kept. Westwood still hasn't progressed past the second round after losing to Nick Watney on the last. A three-stab on the 16th was the low point in a round characterised by poor putting. Westwood must now wait to see if Martin Kaymer – who beat Justin Rose on the second extra hole – can make the final. If he does, the German will become the new No 1.

Earlier, Paul Casey, the two-time finalist, exited stage left courtesy of a 4&2 loss to the hands of another unheralded American in Jason Day. That was bad news for England, who lost their defending champion in Ian Poulter in the first round. Still, at least Luke Donald is through, after beating Edoardo Molinari 2&1. He will face another Italian today in Matteo Manassero.

The remarkable 17-year-old beat Charl Schwartzel on the 18th to continue his boy's own story. Manassero, already a winner on the European Tour, is the youngest player to have qualified for this event and now seems destined to be the youngest professional to qualify for the Masters. The ranking points he has already earned here will take him into the world's top 50, although judged by these first two days that should be the very least of his ambition. Manassero is rewriting what is and isn't possible for a teenager. But then, at the other end of the spectrum, Miguel Angel Jimenez is still standing at 47 after accounting for Ryan Palmer 4&2.

Meanwhile, there was another glimpse of the future as Mickelson befell a grisly fate when falling to his Ryder Cup partner Rickie Fowler 6&5. The 22-year-old is the American equivalent of McIlroy and with Woods and Lefty departed will command the home focus today. Decked in bright pink yesterday, Fowler thankfully matches his sartorial flamboyance with his golfing flamboyance. He had two eagles in three holes and his second on the 13th – featuring a three-iron to three feet – was the day's highlight.

"He's a class guy, a great player and you can't help but fall for him," said Mickelson. "He's going to do a lot for American golf."

Perhaps even this weekend, although Graeme McDowell should be standing in his path if Fowler accounts for Matt Kuchar. The US Open champion faces YE Yang in the last 16 and, even though his form was sketchy in dispatching England's Ross Fisher 4&2, as just one of the three members of the world's top 10 still standing – Kaymer and Donald being the others – he will be confident of reaching the quarters.

As it is, his progress thus far ensures he will move above Tiger Woods in the rankings. "Wow," said McDowell. Wow, indeed.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices