Shane Lowry set to face world No 1 Rory McIlroy in Arizona match play
Last Updated: February 12, 2013 9:34pm
Shane Lowry: Seems likely to face Rory McIlroy in Arizona first round next week
Shane Lowry looks all set to face world No 1 Rory McIlroy in the opening round of next week's WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
The Irishman squeezed into the 64-man field for the first time in his career, thanks to some help from American duo Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed.
Mickelson, the world No 10, said last week that he would not be playing in the tournament, meaning the world No 65 would replace him in the event.
And Lowry is the lucky recipient of Leftie's absence but he still needed some nifty work by Reed to stay ahead of Fredrik Jacobson in the World Ranking.
Jacobson looked likely to finish ahead of Lowry when he posted a closing 67 at Pebble Beach on Sunday to slip into seventh spot.
This would have been good enough for the Swede to qualify for the World Golf Championship event at Dove Mountain, had it not been for Reed holing a 12-foot birdie putt on the final green in California to join Jacobson in a tie for seventh.
This reduced the number of world ranking points he gained from the event, allowing Lowry to sneak ahead of him by just 0.0002 of a point.
Jacobson will now be the first alternate for the tournament and, if no other players withdraw between now and Friday, Lowry will earn a date next Wednesday against McIlroy.
McIlroy was beaten in last year's final by Hunter Mahan who has slipped to No 26 in the world.
The biggest jump of last week was made by Richard Sterne whose victory in Johannesbrug moved him from 94th to 55th in the ranking list.
Players have until Friday to commit to play in the $8.75m tournament.
Tiger Woods will be the No 2 seed behind McIlroy with 2011 match play champion Luke Donald the current world No 3.