Unfinished business for McIlroy and Casey at WGC – Cadillac Match Play
Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy. Picture © Getty Images

Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy. Picture © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy ended up watching the Mayweather - Pacquiao bout in the media centre after his  clash with Paul Casey went 21 holes before darkness called a halt to proceedings at Harding Park. 

They will return at 6.45am to complete their WGC – Cadillac Match Play quarter-final after McIlroy lipped out with a six foot putt to seal the match on the 16th green (the third extra hole).

Both players agreed the light was too poor to continue and will resume on the first hole amid criticism that the PGA Tour was wrong to schedule such a long break between the morning and afternoon matches to co-incide with primetime TV in the US

While McIlroy and Casey have still to settle their quarter-final, the winner of which will face Jim Furyk in the semis, Danny Willett continued to enjoy his dream debut, seeing off compatriots Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood en route to a semi-final clash with American Gary Woodland. 

Woodland defeated Australian pair Marc Leishman and John Senden to reach the semis, while Furyk took down JB Holmes and Louis Oosthuizen. 

Before Casey and McIlroy went head-to-head they respectively took down Hideki Matsuyama (6 and 5) and Charl Schwartzel (3/1). The semi-finals and final will take place on Sunday with McIlroy or Casey looking like title contenders

"I made a couple of key up and downs when I needed to coming down the stretch," said McIlroy, who watched the big Las Vegas fight in the media centre. "I had a couple of opportunities to close it out, one on 18 and one there and could not quite convert. It was getting pretty dark so we come back in the morning and try again."

Casey was in control for much of the match but admitted he'd been lucky that McIlroy missed two good chances to close him out.

“I dodged a couple of bullets but felt I gave him one or two." he said, referring to some careless mistakes. "I am glad we are teeing up tomorrow, simple as that. I thought I was done for the day and the week on this green (the 16th).

"The beautiful thing is we hit the reset button, come back at 6:45am and start again. We looked at each other on the 15th (the second extra hole) and said 'One more'. It really was dark, whatever the TV cameras are showing, and both of us agreed."

Like Furyk, who has never had much success in the event, Willett was pleased to win his way into the last four.

“I swung it really well today. I hit some good golf shots, putted nicely," he said. "It was a good, solid match against Tommy. You have to feel comfortable in this format - everyone is a good player.

"And everyone can win if they play good golf. I’m obviously delighted with how the week has gone so far.”

Willett beat Lee Westwood in the morning with the veteran joking on Twitter that he'd got his hands on McIlroy's fight tickets. He did get to Las Vegas on the jet McIlroy had chartered, sharing the flight with McIlroy's close pal Harry Diamond.

But he was sitting with European Ryder Cup skipper Darren Clarke at the MGM Grand, though it's unclear how much of the fight Clarke actually got to see.