It was first blood to England’s Oliver Wilson when he faced fourth seed Rory McIlroy in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson today.
After saving a half on the first with a seven-foot putt Wilson won the long next with a birdie four. While he got up and down from just off the green 20-year-old McIlroy bunkered his drive and could do no better than a par five.
Not that the Irishman, a quarter-finalist on his debut last year, had cause to worry yet. On the opening day he came from four down to beat American Kevin Na on the last.
Wilson was facing a fellow European for the second round running.
Still seeking the first tournament victory of his professional career – and that despite making the last Ryder Cup team – the Mansfield golfer was looking to follow up his win over Dubai Desert Classic champion Miguel Angel Jimenez by taking the scalp of last year’s Dubai winner.
Just behind them Luke Donald, conqueror of McIlroy fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell when the event began, shared the first hole with Australian Robert Allenby in par.
The top half of the draw amazingly contained just one American in Matt Kuchar.
He was up against Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, who had already knocked out Ireland’s three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.