Irish battle for Arizona contest

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

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ALL eyes in the golfing world were on Arizona today with the start of the Accenture Match Play tournament.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry was paired against Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy in the first round.

With Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker pulling out of the first of this season’s world championships Lowry, winner of the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur, was in line to clash with second seed Tiger Woods.

But that changed when Swede Fredrik Jacobson, last man in as replacement for the injured Snedeker, finished joint-third at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles and moved up on the world rankings from 66th into the top 50, leaving Lowry to face the world number one.

Woods will now meet his former Presidents Cup partner Charles Howell, while third seed Luke Donald - joint 16th in his first event of the year at Riviera after a disappointing closing 75 - is up against German Marcel Siem.

Snedeker is out with a rib injury.

Mickelson, is simply taking the week off to be with his family after five straight tournament

Jacobson will take on world number one McIlroy and 65th-ranked Lowry will tackle Woods, while Austrian Bernd Wiesberger has been on stand-by.

DRAW (with seeds in brackets)

(12) Sergio Garcia v (53) Thongchai Jaidee

(21) Matt Kuchar v (44) Hiroyuki Fujita

(11) Ian Poulter v (54) Stephen Gallacher

(22) Bo Van Pelt v (43) John Senden

(9) Charl Schwartzel v (56) Russell Henley

(24) Zach Johnson v (41) Glen Day

(10) Jason Dufner v (55) Richard Sterne

(23) Hunter Mahan v (42) Matteo Manassero

(5) Justin Rose v (60) KJ Choi

(28) Bill Haas v (37) Nicolas Colsaerts

(6) Adam Scott v (59) Tim Clark

(27) Jamie Donaldson v (38) Thorbjorn Olesen

(8) Bubba Watson v (57) Chris Wood

(25) Jim Furyk v (40) Ryan Moore

(7) Lee Westwood v (58) Rafael Cabrera Bello

(26) Martin Kaymer v (39) George Coetzee

(13) Keegan Bradley v (52) Marcus Fraser

(20) Ernie Els v (45) Fredrik Jacobson

(14) Steve Stricker v (51) Henrik Stenson

(19) Nick Watney v (46) David Toms

(16) Dustin Johnson v (49) Alexander Noren

(17) Graeme McDowell v (48) Padraig Harrington

(15) Webb Simpson v (50) David Lynn

(18) Peter Hanson v (47) Thomas Bjorn

(4) Louis Oosthuizen v (61) Richie Ramsay

(29) Branden Grace v (36) Robert Garrigus

(3) Luke Donald v (62) Marcel Siem

(30) Paul Lawrie v (35) Scott Piercy

(1) Rory McIlroy v (64) Shane Lowry

(32) Rickie Fowler v (33) Carl Pettersson

(2) Tiger Woods v (63) Charles Howell

(31) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano v (34) Francesco Molinari