McIlroy crashes out at Wentworth

Fri, May 25, 2012, 01:00

Golf:Rory McIlroy will be nowhere to be seen at Wentworth over the weekend as England’s James Morrison takes a four-stroke lead into the BMW PGA Championship tomorrow.

In a truly shocking display, the world number one not just missed the halfway cut for a second successive tournament, but was not far off last place following a nightmare 79.

It followed his early exit from the Players Championship in Florida a fortnight ago, and all this with his defence of the US Open now less than three weeks away.

McIlroy, whose week also included a club-throwing show of frustration that is likely to result in a European Tour fine, fell apart around the turn for the second day running.

One under par and inside the cut mark after seven holes, he double-bogeyed the next and then had five bogeys in a row.

A par at the short 14th was almost a cause for celebration - he had to get up and down from sand for that - but when he double-bogeyed the next after another bad drive, only five players in the 150-strong field were below him.

In stark contrast, world number 236 Morrison, who switched to golf after playing for the England youth cricket team alongside Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan, added a sparkling 64 to his opening 68.

At 12 under par he was four clear of world number two Luke Donald, who won the title at only six under last year, and Scot David Drysdale. Dubliner Peter Lawrie, who shot a one-under 71, and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros (70) are a shot further back.

Donald now needs only a top-eight finish to take the number one spot back off McIlroy. It would be the sixth change at the top in under three months.

Donald is form favourite for the title, however, after his second successive 68.

Indeed, all four of Ireland’s Major winners missed the cut, with British Open champion Darren Clarke crashing out and still in search of his first cut of the year after a 77 left him on five over. Graeme McDowell carded a 74 for four over, while Pádraig Harrington matched McIlroy’s 79 to finish on 11 over.

World number three Lee Westwood, out of bounds with his drive as he followed bogeys on the 15th and 16th with a double-bogey seven at the next, had to wait to see if he made it through. He birdied the last for a 75 and one-over aggregate, the expected cut mark.

McIlroy, nine over for the two rounds and only under 80 thanks to a closing two-putt birdie, said: “I think I may have taken my eye off the ball a little bit, maybe not practising as hard as I had been.

“It’s been a week I’d like to forget. It’s not nice to play like this and not nice two weeks in a row. Maybe it’s a good thing I have two days off to practise and I’m looking to getting back to the States next week. I just feel I’ve lacked competitive rounds.”

He plays the Memorial tournament in Ohio before a week off and then his US Open defence.

Gareth Maybin and David Higgins are both on four under for the tournament after each posting a pair of 70s for the 36 holes. Damien McGrane is on one under after a 72, while Paul McGinley produced a fighting one-under 71 for level par and a place in the final two rounds. Shane Lowry’s 74 left him on one over and right on the cutline. Michael Hoey will miss the cut after a 76 left him back on five over.