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Rory loses his Austin powers

Golf

World No.2 Rory McIlroy faces a battle to regain the WGC-Dell Match Play title after losing to Soren Kjeldsen in their opening group match in Austin.

McIlroy looked to be on course for victory when he overturned a two-hole deficit with three birdies in a row from the 11th, only for Kjeldsen, of Denmark, to birdie the next four holes to complete a superb 2&1 success.

In the other match in McIlroy’s group, Gary Woodland defeated Emiliano Grillo 3&2. Branden Grace had claimed the first win on day one by beating England’s Andy Sullivan 4&2, with former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel thrashing Ben An 6&5.

Upset Day pulls out

Defending champion Jason Day was in tears after withdrawing from the tournament in order to be with his mother as she has treatment for lung cancer. Day was three down after six holes against Pat Perez when he conceded and walked off the course.