A year after hitting a 5-wood to two feet on the final hole at the K Club to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Rory McIlroy's trip to Portstewart Golf Club this year was a lot less successful. And a lot shorter.
McIlroy, whose foundation is the beneficiary of the event, shot a one-over-par 73 on Friday to miss the cut, continuing a difficult season for the four-time major champ that has included two injury breaks.
“I’m frustrated," McIlroy told reporters after. "I felt like I was making some good ground – obviously not getting close to the lead, but being around for the weekend."
After an opening 72, McIlroy got to two under on his back nine on Friday before stalling with a bogey on No. 6 and a double bogey on No. 8. Playing partners Jon Rahm (12 under) and Hideki Matsuyama (nine under) are both in great shape after 36 holes. Benjamin Hebert and Daniel Im currently share the lead at 13 under.
It's the second missed cut in three starts for McIlroy, who also recently failed to make the weekend at the U.S. Open before finishing T-17 at the Travelers Championship. At the Travelers, McIlroy used three different putters and was seen practicing with five different putters ahead of his third round.
"My short game, in general, it’s just silly mistakes," said McIlroy, who oddly has a win and four missed cuts in the last five Irish Opens. "I’m just not being very efficient with my scoring and that’s why I’m making it difficult for myself. Just need to tidy up the short game a little bit; I feel like the long game is there."
McIlroy will play in next week's Scottish Open before the British Open at Royal Birkdale the following week.