Bogeys at 15 and 17 proved to be Rory McIlroy’s ultimate undoing as he failed to make the weekend cut at The Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.
The Hollywood star was going along OK at two-under par through 14 holes before he found trouble off the tee on the par-5 15th. Forced to lay up, McIlroy gave himself a short wedge into the green but as was so often the case over the first two days, he missed the dancefloor from 85 yards and made bogey.
He doubled down on that error on 17 where he missed a putt a little over three-feet for par and although he managed to find birdie on the toughest hole on the course to close out his round, a two-over par total was one too many with the cut falling at plus-one.
“I hit it better today,” McIlroy reflected. “I was cruising and made that bogey on 15. I had a couple of chances coming in to try to be here for the weekend. But, yeah, just — a couple of shots yesterday and just not taking advantage of when I did put it in the fairway and had wedges in my hand. I better work with the driver and the wedges over the weekend.
“[On 15] I pitched it pin-high or just past the pin and trying to spin it against the slope so it doesn’t come back as much. And just have to pitch it under five up there, I guess, but I didn’t feel like I needed to because the way I wanted to flight it with that little draw I thought it was going to skip a couple of yards up and in. But it just seemed to dig in. The greens are very, very soft.”
McIlroy tees up for a first time at the Canadian Open next week ahead of his US Open bid set for Pebble Beach the week after, and the 30-year old admits that he’s glad to have another tournament in order to best prepare for the year’s third Major.
“I was glad to have it either way, whether this was a good week or not. I feel like I really need to play my way into the U.S. Open considering how I’ve played the last three years.”
Friday was a bad day all round for McIlroy who sent a drive careering right on the 7th hole before it was stopped mid air by the chin of a spectator. The clatter could be heard ringing through the trees and even Nick Dougherty in the SkySports studio looked rattled by the impact. Thankfully the young fan was OK, much to McIlroy’s relief.
“Yeah, I guess I caught him right under his lip. He had like a pretty deep gash sort of on his chin. I’m sorry, not much a glove does for that, maybe stop the bleeding a little bit (laughter.) I just said I’m sorry. I felt bad because I usually — I thought it was going to pitch in the first cut and run into the heavier stuff, I didn’t think it was going to fly all the way there. I felt bad about that. But he seemed to be okay.”