SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Rory McIlroy had his own fight to worry about Saturday in Match Play Championship. It was such a tense battle with Paul Casey that both had chances to win, and they had to return Sunday to see who gets to keep playing.
McIlroy has gone 17 holes without the lead, though the world’s No. 1 player had his chances.
With the match all square when Casey took three putts from the fringe on the 17th, McIlroy missed a 12-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th. Casey left his winning birdie putt one turn short on the second extra hole.
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Given another chance, McIlroy hit the lip on a 6-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole. Even by then, it was too dark.
They will resume at 6:45 a.m. Sunday on the par-5 opening hole for the right to play Jim Furyk, who reached his first semifinal with a 4-and-2 victory over Louis Oosthuizen.
Gary Woodland got up big early against John Senden and coasted to a 5-and-3 victory, fueled by memories of a bad loss last year that the powerful Kansan is determined to not let happen again. He will face Danny Willett of England, who beat his third straight countryman with a 4-and-3 win over Tommy Fleetwood.
The quarterfinals began late so that it could end in prime time on the East Coast, a move that backfired when McIlroy and Casey went overtime.
NORTH TEXAS SHOOTOUT
IRVING, Texas (AP) – Lexi Thompson finished a round of 3-under 68 with a birdie after a fortunate ricochet to share the third-round lead with Inbee Park in the LPGA Tour’s North Texas Shootout.
The approach by the long-hitting Thompson at the par-5 18th was a screamer well left of the hole. But the ball struck the front facing of a temporary grandstand and ricocheted onto the green, skimming just over the top of a bunker. That set up a long two-putt birdie to get to 9-under 204.
Park, the 2013 North Texas winner, had a more conventional closing birdie, hitting her approach inside a foot for a round of 69.
Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old Canadian who had the second-round lead, shot an even-par 71 to drop into a tie for third at 8 under with 40-year-old Karrie Webb (64) and Angela Stanford (67).
The 20-year-old Thompson was about 220 yards out at the 518-yard 18th when she crushed a 3-wood.
Without the assist from the section of seats, she might have been set up for only her second bogey of the day – or even worse. She burst out laughing in the fairway after watching what happened with her ball.
Lydia Ko, the 18-year-old from New Zealand who is the No. 1 player in the world, shot a 70 to get even for the week. She had to make three birdies over her last eight holes Friday just to avoid missing the cut for the first time in her 51 career starts. And Ko was right on the number for the secondary cut, among the 51 players advance to the final round at even or better. When the initial cut was made at 1 over after the second round, 70 of the original 144-player field made it.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) – Michael Allen birdied the final two holes for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.
The 56-year-old Allen had a 10-under 134 total at The Woodlands Country Club. He has seven victories on the 50-and-over tour, winning twice last season.
Joe Durant was second after a 68. He had a double bogey in the par-4 17th and rebounded with a birdie on the par-4 18th. Last week, he teamed with Billy Andrade to win the Legends of Golf in Missouri for his first Champions Tour title.
Scott Dunlap, Woody Austin and Tom Lehman were 8 under. Dunlap had a 65, the best round of the day. Austin and Lehman shot 66.