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Published: 10:46 | 22/3/16

McIlroy relishing Match Play return

Defending champion Rory McIlroy will face Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and American pair Kevin Na and Smylie Kaufman in the group stage of the WGC-Dell Match Play.

There are 16 groups of four players in the round-robin stage of the tournament with each of the 16 winners advancing to the knockout stage.

McIlroy defeated Gary Woodland 4&2 in last year's final and he hoping for another successful outing despite being drawn against three talented players.

"It's always good to come back to a tournament where you've had success," McIlroy told a press conference.

"I feel like my match play record speaks for itself, I've had a good record in this tournament and in the Ryder Cup as well.

"Kevin I've played in this tournament before, maybe in 2010, and he's playing very well, he's had a great year.

"Thorbjorn is a good friend, I've known him a long time playing on the European Tour, and Smylie I really don't know much about but he's got off to a great start in his PGA Tour career."

World number one Jordan Spieth has been drawn with 2014 runner-up Victor Dubuisson, Europe's Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson and Justin Thomas.

Shane Lowry has been drawn in Group 14 alongside Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Marcus Fraser with the winner facing the winner of Spieth's group in the last 16.

Adam Scott, Bill Haas, Chris Wood and Thomas Pieters are in Group 6, while Graeme McDowell is in a tough group along with Jason Day, Paul Casey and Thongchai Jaidee.

WGC-Dell Match Play group stage draw:

Group 1: Jordan Spieth (USA), Justin Thomas (USA), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Jamie Donaldson (Wal)

Group 2: Jason Day (Aus), Paul Casey (Eng), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Graeme McDowell (NIr)

Group 3: Rory McIlroy (NIr), Kevin Na (USA), Smylie Kaufman (USA), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)

Group 4: Bubba Watson (USA), JB Holmes (USA), Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Patton Kizzire (USA)

Group 5: Rickie Fowler (USA), Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Scott Piercy (USA), Jason Dufner (USA)

Group 6: Adam Scott (Aus), Bill Haas (USA), Chris Wood (Eng), Thomas Pieters (Ger)

Group 7: Justin Rose (Eng), Matt Kuchar (USA), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Fabian Gomez (Arg)

Group 8: Dustin Johnson (USA), Jimmy Walker (USA), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Robert Streb (USA)

Group 9: Patrick Reed (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Daniel Berger (USA)

Group 10: Danny Willett (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa)

Group 11: Branden Grace (Rsa), Russell Knox (Sco), David Lingmerth (Swe), Chris Kirk (USA)

Group 12: Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Kevin Kisner (USA), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Rafa Cabrera Bello (Esp)

Group 13: Sergio Garcia (Esp), Marc Leishman (Aus), Ryan Moore (USA), Lee Westwood (ENG)

Group 14: Zach Johnson (USA), Shane Lowry (Irl), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Marcus Fraser (Aus)

Group 15: Brandt Snedeker (USA), Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Danny Lee (NZl), Charley Hoffman (USA)

Group 16: Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Andy Sullivan (Eng), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Matt Jones (Aus)

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