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Late bogeys do damage as McIlroy misses cut

 

Early exit: Rory McIlroy on his way to missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio last night
Early exit: Rory McIlroy on his way to missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio last night
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Two dropped shots in his final four holes saw Rory McIlroy miss his first cut of the season at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

The World No.4 had managed to scramble his way back inside the cut mark and put himself in a position to play at the weekend, only to fire bogeys at the 15th and 17th to end his tournament early.

After his three-over par opening round on Thursday, McIlroy had done superbly well to force his way up the leaderboard thanks to birdies at two of the first three par-fives at Muirfield Village - the fifth and 11th - to place himself on the cut mark.

But it all fell apart on the 15th when he tried to be too aggressive with his approach at the par-five and saw his wedge roll off the false front and back to 37 yards short of the green, which led to his first bogey of the day.

Knowing only a birdie would bring him back for the third round, a great approach into the 16th saw the 30-year-old leave himself eight feet for birdie, only for the putt to slide by.

That was compounded by his second dropped shot on the 17th when he contrived to miss a three-footer for par, condemning McIlroy to his worst finish of the season so far, with his previous worst a tied-21st at The Masters back in April.

The Holywood man did redeem himself with a stunning approach on the final hole to just four feet, which at least saw him finish under par for the day, carding a one-under 71, but ultimately it was all in vain having missed the cut by one.

McIlroy was always going to struggle to mount a challenge at the weekend anyway, given that the leaders going into the weekend currently sit at nine-under par.

American Troy Merritt and Korea's Kyoung-Hoon Lee will be the last men out in today's third round as they hold a one-shot lead over the chasing pack in Ohio.

Former World No.1 Jordan Spieth is a further stroke back at eight-under after shooting 70 in his second round, while six players, including Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler, are at seven-under.

Tiger Woods made the cut and will be eyeing up a weekend charge at two-under.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment at the US Women's Open for Leona Maguire, who struggled to finish nine-over par after two rounds at the Country Club of Charleston to miss the cut.

After a first round of four-over par, Maguire once again found conditions testing and shot a five-over 76 that sees her first appearance at a Major cut short.

America's Jessica Korda took the lead after the early starters completed their second rounds, carding the clubhouse lead at five-under par, with amateur Gina Kim just a shot behind at four-under.

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow was among the late starters, with the Jordanstown woman aiming to make the cut after a three-over par 74 in her first round.

Meanwhile, on the European Tour, Drogheda man Gavin Moynihan qualified for the matchplay stage of the Belgian Knockout at Rinkven International Golf Club near Antwerp.

Moynihan finished at three-under par for the two days, ensuring a top-64 finish that sees him make the weekend, which will be played in a knockout format as opposed to the standard four-day strokeplay format.

The Irishman will face Germany's Marcel Siem in the last-64, with matches played over nine holes.

Englishman Chris Paisley secured top seeding after producing back-to-back 65s.

The 33-year-old carded seven birdies and a solitary bogey on day two to finish the traditional stroke play phase of the tournament on 12-under par.

Paisley leads the 64 players - 32 from each side of the draw - who progress to the weekend's knockout stages.

He said: "It's great to play well again. To follow up a low round with another one is great.

"You try to win every week and this week is a bit of a different one, slightly annoying that those two rounds are going to be basically wiped clean.

"I'm playing well, I enjoy match play, I enjoy the course so I've got a chance."

Early starter Anton Karlsson was a single shot behind Paisley on 11-under, with Justin Walters and Espen Kofstad in a tie for third two strokes further back.

In-form Scot Robert MacIntyre, who has finished runner-up in each of his last two starts on the European Tour, was in a share of seventh alongside Englishmen David Horsey and Oliver Wilson.

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