British Open 2019: Rory McIlroy narrowly misses weekend cut

2019 Open report

2019 Open report

"But you've seen it with Rory (McIlroy) and other guys".

On Thursday it was for his ghastly start; on Friday for his heartbreaking finish.

ROUND OF THE DAY: McIlroy and Xander Schauffele each shot 65. Obviously I've got over that. "Clearly I try to peak for majors".

In a day that had been marked by its worldwide flavour, with golfing fans from all over the world packing the Royal Portrush course, there was a particularly Ulster complexion to this core of early evening enthusiasts.

The British Open is at Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951. It's the sixth time in a major championship that he's shot 79 or worse in the opening. Golf will test you to the absolute limit like no other sport. The Spaniard was considered one of the players to watch this week after winning the Irish Open earlier this month and did his chances no harm at all as he shot 3-under-par in the first round. That chip landed about six feet from the pin, and he two-putted from there.

"Anytime you're trying to make a cut on a Friday afternoon, especially at a major championship, you're always a little tight, a little nervous", McDowell said.

Three years ago, Lowry led by four shots going into the last 18 holes of the U.S. Open at Oakmont before a nightmare final round saw him finish three shots adrift of victor Dustin Johnson.

"This year has just been a bit quieter", he said. "Because we're very proud of our golf". It's a veritable United Nations in the top-10, as it's represented by golfers from eight different countries. "But to have that many people out there following me, supporting me, cheer-ing my name, it meant the world to me". The Offaly man has a share of the lead going into the weekend, sitting on -8 alongside J.B Holmes.

This was the relentless soundtrack of Lowry's five hours on the course, broken only for silence when he addressed the ball and the thunderous roars and standing ovations that greeted birdies on three, five, nine, 10, 12, 15 and 16. Close behind: Shane Lowry (+650) and Justin Rose (+750).

Look where it has got him this week. But there are times when I'm just not going to be there. McIlroy carded seven birdies - five of them after the turn - but was unable to find another at either the 17th or 18th, leaving him at two over and narrowly on the wrong side of the cut line.

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Lowry, 32, famously won his national open as an amateur in 2009. A three-time Open champion, Woods is set to miss the cut for only the third time in his 21 appearances.

And while he stunned golf fans to win The Masters and complete one of the sport's greatest ever comebacks earlier this year, Woods acknowledged his body can not do what it used to.

Asked if his opening two rounds had changed his perception of what was possible over the weekend, the 46-year-old was keen to play it cool. The answer was, "No".

There are three major champions within three shots of the lead.

It has been three years since Shane Lowry missed the chance to win the U.S. Open but he is adamant that will not affect his Open challenge. He said he is comfortable facing heavy expectations. World number one Brooks Koepka was on seven under after a couple of birdies in his outward nine.

Time and again, his short wedge play might have been guided by sensitive radar yesterday. But this week at Portrush he has done it without making many putts. "I know it's not all going to be singing and dancing through a major".

"I should really have backed off the shot".

"There's more to caddying", Westwood said, "than counting and getting the wind direction".

Contending in majors with his full-swing game where it has been this year is a testament to what a truly talented player he is.

"If it's not this week, I think it's coming pretty soon".

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