Rory McIlroy’s polarizing career at the Irish Open continued this week as the 28-year-old event host missed the cut at Portstewart Friday.
After winning the event last year—in epic fashion, no less—McIlroy began his title defense with a ho-hum even-par 72 while 105 players shot under par. He’d follow it with a 1-over 73 Friday, ruining four birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey. Meanwhile, his playing partners Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm sit at nine under and 12-under, respectively.
“I think my short game in general…it’s really silly mistakes,” McIlroy said following his second round. “Little stuff like that is so huge for momentum. I’m just not being efficient with my scoring.”
McIlroy’s 2016 victory made it easy to expect great things this week, but he had missed the Irish Open cut in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The missed cut marks another step in an up-and-down season, which has witnessed four top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour, but a missed cut at the U.S. Open. McIlroy will play the Scottish Open next week before heading to Royal Birkdale for the British Open one week later.