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SAN FRANCISCO – 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.