Thursday 22 February 2018

McIlroy sees funny side

Rory McIlroy's second-round score of 75 was not enough to make the cut
Rory McIlroy's second-round score of 75 was not enough to make the cut

Rory McIlroy maintained his sense of humour if nothing else after missing the cut in the Open Championship for the first time in his career.

McIlroy, who described his own play as "brain dead" following an opening 79, added a second-round 75 at Muirfield to finish 12 over par, taking his total in the majors this year to 28 over.

"I needed to get off to a fast start to have any chance of being here for the weekend," said the world number two. "I was five over through seven holes so that didn't really happen, but after that I just decided to, I guess, practice a little bit for the next few weeks coming up.

"I decided that I was going to hit driver every hole that I could, because that's going to be a big factor the next few weeks, and I actually drove the ball pretty well and ended up playing the last 11 holes under par.

"That was encouraging, but obviously I'm disappointed to be going home for the weekend. I guess I have a clearer picture of what I need to work on and what I need to do to put things right.

"Sometimes this game can feel further away than it actually is and obviously at the end of yesterday it couldn't have felt much further away."

The 24-year-old's next tournament will be the Bridgestone Invitational in a fortnight's time and he added: "I'm going to look forward to it, four really good competitive rounds there....there's no cut!

"I'm looking forward to that and it's a great prep for the US PGA (where he will defend his title at Oak Hill)."

Three-time Open champion Nick Faldo was another who failed to make the cut and he predicts some high scores over the coming days.

"My goodness it's harsh out there," he said. "If it stays like this, these greens burnt to a crisp, something will happen.

"Obviously one guy will come through, but you could see half a dozen guys come off scratching their heads. It's a log haul - a tough test."

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