Rory McIlroy eliminated despite not playing

His opponent withdrew from their contest due to family circumstances

Rory McIlroy has been eliminated from the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Championship after his opponent withdrew from their match.

Gary Woodland pulled out of his second round duel with McIlroy due to family reasons which gave the Northern Irishman the win.

However, Soren Kjeldsen, who beat McIlroy in the first round, won his second match with Emiliano Grillo and will also be awarded a walk-over against Woodland giving him an insurmountable lead in the group.

Speaking afterwards the former Irish Open winner said: Very pleased (to advance). Actually, not happy about Gary and what's going on with Gary. I don't know all the details, but Gary is one of the nicest guys out here. So we wish him all the best."

The early knock-out will be a huge blow to McIlroy as he prepares for the first major of the year: the US Masters at Augusta, where he is aiming to complete a career Grand Slam of majors.

It was also a bad day for Shane Lowry as he lost to Spain's Jon Rahm 2&1 and is also eliminated from the tournament.