Irish Open: Struggling Rory McIlroy misses cut at Carton House

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy's struggles continued as he missed the cut at the Irish Open with Ireland's other recent major winners also exiting at Carton House.

World number two McIlroy's level-par 72 left him on two over with the cut mark at level par.

That left the 24-year-old 11 shots adrift of joint leaders England's Robert Rock and American Peter Uihlein.

Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington hit rounds of 74 to exit on one over with Darren Clarke (75) six over.

McIlroy's playing partner Shane Lowry battled back impressively on his back nine to finish with a 70 which left him as the leading Irishman only two behind the leaders.

Rock, beaten by then amateur Lowry in a play-off at the 2009 Irish Open, fired a 66 on Friday with recent Madeira Open winner Uihlein joining him at the head of the field on nine under after a 68.

Lowry was in a share of third place alongside a group which included last year's European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (69) and overnight leader Oscar Floren who fired a 71.

Scotland's Scott Henry is three off the pace on six under after hitting a new Carton House course record of 64.

McIlroy started with a birdie on Friday but gave one back at the third and was facing a battle to survive after going to the turn in 35.

But three bogeys in five holes from the par-three 12th ended any hopes McIlroy had of remaining in the tournament with a three-putt dropped shot on the 16th sealing his fate.

McIlroy, who confessed to feeling "a little lost" after his first round on Thursday, attempted to sound more positive following Friday's action.

"I felt I played a little bit better today," added the Northern Irishman, whose form has dipped this year after his decision to change clubs by signing a multi-million pound deal with Nike.

"When I missed a green, I didn't really get it up and down and I didn't hole many putts but I thought ball-striking wise, it was a little bit better.

"I just need to work on my game and keep doing the right things.

"If I can do that, it should turn around at some stage. Whether that is in a couple of weeks or further down the line (we will see)."

McIlroy won five times last year, including his second major title in the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

2010 US Open champion McDowell was one shot on the wrong side of the cut line after a 74 which which included four bogeys.

The Portrush man bemoaned the "slow" pace of the greens but acknowledged that he is currently struggling with some swing issues.

"I'm a little off technically. I'm not quite on with my golf swing," he added.

After his round, McDowell was hoping that he would squeeze into the weekend action but he will remain at Carton House to get in some practice ahead of next week's French Open.

Three-time major winner Harrington blamed "poor wedge play" for his exit after a four-bogey 74 while 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke's frustrations continued with a second straight 75.

Galgorm touring professional Gareth Shaw is the second best-placed Irish player after a 68 left him on three under with Alan Dunbar (72), Simon Thornton (73) and club professional Damien Mooney (68) all a further shot back.

Mooney's 68 was helped by a hole-in-one at the seventh as he made an Irish Open cut for only the second time in 20 years of playing the event.

Michael Hoey, one off the lead after an opening 67, lost ground as a 76 dropped him back to one under.


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