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.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice