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McDowell the last of the Irish; Stricker celebrates birthday with big win

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    Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, signs autographs for fans after defeating Alexander Noren 1 up in 20 holes in the second round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)The Associated Press

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    Martin Kaymer hits out of the bunker onto the 17th green in the second round of play during the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)The Associated Press

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    Nick Watney reacts after missing a putt on the second green in the second round of play against Steve Stricker during the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Marana, Ariz. Stricker won 1 up in 21 holes. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)The Associated Press

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    Nick Watney hits out of the bunker on the third green in the second round of play against Steve Stricker during the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Marana, Ariz. Stricker won 1 up in 21 holes. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)The Associated Press

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    Alexander Noren, of Sweden, hits a shot off the second fairway under a waxing gibbous moon, during the second round against Graeme McDowell at the Match Play Championship golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Marana, Ariz. McDowell won 1 up in 20 holes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)The Associated Press

Graeme McDowell ended what was still a big week for Shane Lowry at the Match Play Championship.

McDowell made three birdies in a five-hole stretch to build a 4-up lead at the turn and outlasted his Irish friend, 3 and 2, to reach the quarterfinals. Next up for McDowell is Jason Day, who eliminated Masters champion Bubba Watson and left this event without a top 10 seed going into the final 8 for the first time in its 15-year history.

The best golf belonged to Steve Stricker, who celebrated his 46th birthday with a match that made him feel 47. He made eight birdies and needed every one to beat Scott Piercy, who shot 65 and lost. Stricker birdied the last two holes, making a 30-foot putt to win.