Lowry family delighted - and sleepless - after Match Play win

Shane Lowry's family have said they're thrilled with the golfer's success last night, after the Offaly man beat his friend and World number 1 Rory McIlroy at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Lowry family delighted - and sleepless - after Match Play win

Shane Lowry's family have said they're thrilled with the golfer's success last night, after the Offaly man beat his friend and World number 1 Rory McIlroy at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

It was a close game, but Lowry sealed victory on the final hole.

His father Brendan, who stayed up to watch the action, told Midlands Radio: "We stayed up till 2am, and with text messages and phone calls and the whole effect it would have on you - sure it's very hard to sleep at all!"

McIlroy and Tiger Woods both fell at the first hurdle as the snow-affected Match Play finally got underway in earnest in Arizona.

Woods, beaten 2&1 by fellow American Charles Howell in a first round still to be completed following Wednesday’s snow, has the comfort of knowing he has already won a title this year.

But world number one McIlroy, who lost on the final green to 68th-ranked Lowry, will know there are more questions coming after what has to go down as a shocking start to the season.

The 23-year-old began it last month by missing the halfway cut in Abu Dhabi in the very week he signed a multi-million pound contract to use Nike clubs.

He shot two rounds of 75 there and exited last night after an approximate four-over-par 76. Next week he defends the Honda Classic in Florida.

“I drove really well, but couldn’t take advantage of that,” he said. “If I’d hit my irons better it could have been a different story.

“I could have been three or four up early on, but let him get back into the match and he had a nice little run.”

Lowry, meanwhile said: “My knees were knocking over that final (three-foot) putt. I was very nervous going out and quite mad at myself for that, but I had a bit of luck that I needed and said to my caddie that he’s not going to be liking this at all.”

McIlroy becomes the third top seed in the last four years to go out straightaway. Steve Stricker lost to Ross McGowan in 2010 and last year it was Luke Donald to Ernie Els.

Donald, seeded third this time, was relieved to be still in the event today, a birdie on the last needed to see off the challenge of German Marcel Siem.

Lee Westwood did go out, though, losing on the first extra hole to Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello, while in the other all-Irish clash Graeme McDowell defeated Padraig Harrington one-up.

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