Sports

Rickie Fowler the first to secure spot in round of 16 at Match Play Championship

  • Bubba Watson hits from the third fairway at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Bubba Watson hits from the third fairway at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jordan Spieth follows his shot on the fourth green of TPC Harding Park during round-robin play against Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    Jordan Spieth follows his shot on the fourth green of TPC Harding Park during round-robin play against Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)  (The Associated Press)

  • Shane Lowry, fourth from left, of Ireland and Rickie Fowler, right, prepare to hit from the fourth fairway of TPC Harding Park during round-robin play at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Shane Lowry, fourth from left, of Ireland and Rickie Fowler, right, prepare to hit from the fourth fairway of TPC Harding Park during round-robin play at the Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

Rickie Fowler escaped with big putts to outlast Shane Lowry of Ireland on Thursday and become the first player to secure a spot in the round of 16 at the Match Play Championship.

Fowler has 2-0 record this week at TPC Harding Park. He plays again Friday, though the outcome of his match is irrelevant. Fowler already is assured of having the best record from the four players in his group.

Rory McIlroy had to go 18 holes to beat Brandt Snedeker. Billy Horschel easily beat Jason Dufner. That sets up a McIlroy-Horschel match Friday to determine who wins their group.

Marc Warren of Scotland was on the verge of advancing. He lost the last three holes, and then Brooks Koepka beat him on the 20th hole.