IT looked last week as if the withdrawl of Brandt Snedecker would result in Shane Lowry facing Tiger Woods in the first round of the WGC Accenture World Matchplay Championships this week.
However after the draw was made, the Offaly golfer will instead face his former Irish Amateur team colleague and good friend Rory McIlroy.
World Number 1 McIlroy is the top seed for the event. Runner Up last year, hejoins Luke Donald (2012), Lee Westwood (2011), Steve Stricker (2010), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2002-04, 2006-09), Vijay Singh (2005) and Ernie Els (2001) as No. 1 seeds in Accenture Match Play Championship history.
This is McIlroy’s fifth time competing in the Accenture Match Play Championship, a tournament where he made his professional U.S. debut in 2009. He has a 10-4 record and has advanced beyond the first round in each of his four previous appearances giving some idea of the task facing Lowry.
However facing McIlroy will hold no fear for the Clara golfer who is making his first appearance at the event. Lowry made it into the field as World Number 65 after the withdrawl of Phil Mickleson.
Elsewhere there is another All Ireland tie as Padraig Harrington faces Graham McDowell.
The event is being played at Dove Mountain in Arizona. The event will be screened live on Sky Sports.