Rickie advances in WGC-Match Play

Rickie Fowler was one of two players who advanced to the Round of 16 in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship with a 1-up victory over Shane Lowry of Ireland at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Fowler, of Murrieta, who has won his first two matches, will advance to the Round of 16 from Group 13 no matter what happens in his third-round match on Friday against Graeme McDowell (0-2)  of Northern Ireland because he already has beaten the other two players in the group, Lowry (1-1) and Harris English (1-1).

The tie-breaker is head-to-head play.

“I’m looking forward to building a bit tomorrow, work on the game,” Fowler said after winning with a two-putt birdie on the 18th hole. Lowry was 2 up after winning the 12th hole with a birdie before losing the next two holes with bogeys.

“It was a little loose the past couple of days. Luckily, I made some good putts. If we can get everything clicking, it will be a very good weekend.”

John Senden of Australia (2-0) beat Bill Haas, 4 and 3, to guarantee he will advance from Group 3 in spite what he does against Brendan Todd (0-2) because he has beaten both Haas (1-1) and Henrik Stenson (1-1), who was top-seeded in the group.

There are four groups in which players with 2-0 records will meet for the right to advance.

Top-ranked Rory McIlroy (2-0), who beat Brandt Snedeker, 2 up, will face Billy Horschel (2-0), who defeated Jason Dufner, 3 and 2, to decide Group 1.

No. 2 Jordan Spieth (2-0), the best player in the world since late last year, defeated Matt Every, 4 and 3, will face Lee Westwood (2-0) of  England, a 1-up winner over Mikko Ilonen of Finland, to determine the winner of Group 2.

In Group 4, Bubba Watson (2-0) got past Keegan Bradley, 4 and 2, and meets Louis Oosthuizen (2-0) of South Africa, who turned back Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, 2 up.

Webb Simpson (2-0) defeated Jimmy Walker on the 19th hole and will determine the winner of Group 11 in a match against Gary Woodland (2-0), who got past Ian Poulter of England, 3 and 2.

Players in the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings who were eliminated included No. 3 Stenson, defending champion and No. 7 Jason Day (0-2) of Australia, who was beaten by Branden Grace of South Africa, 4 and 3, and No. 9 Adam Scott of Australia (0-2), who was downed by Paul Casey of England, 1 up.

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