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MARANA, Ariz. – The snow is gone from the Match Play Championship, and so are Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
In a stunning conclusion Thursday, Shane Lowry made a 4-foot par putt on the 18th hole to eliminate McIlroy in the opening round of golf's most unpredictable tournament. It was the third time in the last four years the No. 1 seed went home after one round.
Moments later, Charles Howell III beat the second-seeded Woods on the 17th hole. Howell nearly holed a wedge for birdie on the 16th and made a 25-foot birdie on the 16th to seize control.
It was the first time since 2002 when the top two seeds were eliminated after one day — even though this round took two days because of snow.