WGC Match Play: Rory McIlroy & Tiger Woods are top seeds

 

World number one Rory McIlroy will play Shane Lowry in the first round of the WGC Match Play Championship in Arizona.

The Northern Irishman, who was beaten by American Hunter Mahan in last year's final, plays Ireland's Lowry who gained his place when Phil Mickelson withdrew.

Three-times winner and world number two Tiger Woods takes on fellow American Charles Howell III on Wednesday.

England's Luke Donald plays Germany's Marcel Siem, while Justin Rose starts against South Korea's KJ Choi.

Donald, who won the title in 2011, is ranked third and heads the Sam Snead quarter of the draw while McIlroy and Woods are the top seeds in the Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan sections.

The fourth bracket is led by number four seed Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.

The top 64 players in the world are eligible to play in the tournament, which pits golfers against each other in a series of knockout matches - Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker's decision to pull out, opened the door for Lowry and Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, who will play reigning Open champion Ernie Els.

Defending champion Mahan opens his campaign against Matteo Manassero of Italy, while other stand-out ties include England's 2010 champion Ian Poulter playing Scotland's Steven Gallacher and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell taking on Ireland's Padraig Harrington.

Full draw:

Bobby Jones bracket

Rory McIlroy (NI) v Shane Lowry (Ire)

Rickie Fowler (US) v Carl Pettersson (Swe)

Dustin Johnson (US) v Alexander Noren (Swe)

Graeme McDowell (NI) v Padraig Harrington (Ire)

Bubba Watson (US) v Chris Wood (Eng)

Jim Furyk (US) v Ryan Moore (US)

Charl Schwartzel (SA) v Russell Henley (US)

Zach Johnson (US) v Jason Day (Aus)

Gary Player bracket

Louis Oosthuizen (SA) v Richie Ramsay (Sco)

Branden Grace (SA) v Robert Garrigus (US)

Keegan Bradley (US) v Marcus Fraser (Aus)

Ernie Els (SA) v Fredrik Jacobson (Swe)

Justin Rose (Eng) v KJ Choi (Kor)

Bill Haas (US) v Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)

Sergio Garcia (Spa) v Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)

Matt Kuchar (US) v Hiroyuki Fujita (Jpn)

Ben Hogan bracket

Tiger Woods (US) v Charles Howell III (US)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) v Francesco Molinari (Ita)

Webb Simpson (US) v David Lynn (Eng)

Peter Hanson (Swe) v Thomas Bjorn (Den)

Lee Westwood (Eng) v Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)

Martin Kaymer (Ger) v George Coetzee (SA)

Jason Dufner (US) v Richard Sterne (SA)

Hunter Mahan (US) v Matteo Manassero (Ita)

Sam Snead bracket

Luke Donald (Eng) v Marcel Siem (Ger)

Paul Lawrie (Sco) v Scott Piercy (US)

Steve Stricker (US) v Henrik Stenson (Swe)

Nick Watney (US) v David Toms (US)

Adam Scott (Aus) v Tim Clark (SA)

Jamie Donaldson (Wal) v Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)

Ian Poulter (Eng) v Steven Gallacher (Sco)

Bo Van Pelt (US) v John Senden (Aus)