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McDowell bows out

Graeme McDowell was the first player to tee off in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson - and the first player to make his exit.

For the second year running Northern Ireland's former US Open champion lost to Korean YE Yang, this time by a 2&1 first round margin.

"I'm playing good - today is a big mountain over," said Yang.

McDowell led after five holes, but Yang took control with birdies on the next two and then a par at the 476-yard ninth, where Europe's Ryder Cup hero double-bogeyed.

A six-foot birdie putt on the short 12th brought the gap back to one, but it was the closest McDowell could get and a superb approach to four feet on the 17th allowed the 2009 USPGA champion to close things out with a birdie.

Second seed Rory McIlroy, left as Northern Ireland's only hope after McDowell and Open champion Darren Clarke lost, was relieved to win on the last against South African George Coetzee after bogeying the 16th and 17th.

Clarke was crushed 5&4 by American Nick Watney, who next faces Tiger Woods.


From Belfast Telegraph