Rory McIlroy’s British Open preparations were in disarray Friday after the former world number one missed the cut at the Irish Open.
McIlroy was one under for his round with two holes to play but a double-bogey six on the 17th ended any chance of his playing all four days, leaving him one-over-par 73 for the second round.
That saw the current world number four four shots shy of the projected three under cut-off mark in the $7 million event.
It was the second time in three years the defending Irish Open winner had missed the halfway cut and the fourth occasion in the past five years McIlroy will sit out the weekend rounds in the premier Irish event.
“My short game in general is not good as I am making silly mistakes, so it is not good,” he said.
“Today, I was four yards short of the green on 16 but then managing to get it up-and-down from there from the middle of the fairway, so little stuff like that is so huge for momentum.
“I am just not being very efficient with my scoring and that is why I am making it difficult for myself.”
McIlroy struggled tee-to-green, hitting only half of the 14 fairways, and for a second day running took 33 putts on the greens.
As the event host, McIlroy will remain over the weekend to hand the trophy to the new champion.
He will then cross the Irish Sea on Monday in readiness for next week’s Scottish Open and follow up with the British Open a week later at Royal Birkdale.
American Daniel Im added a second round 67 to move to the clubhouse lead on 13-under par with Spanish sensation Jon Rahm muscling his way to second and just a shot behind after also signing for a 67.
Rahm, who contested the first two rounds alongside McIlroy, capped his round with a fifth hole eagle.
World No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama, and the third member of the McIlroy’s group, was also in contention in adding a 68 to move to nine under par.
Also at nine under was fellow Japan golfer, Hideto Taninhara who produced a bogey free seven under par 65.