McIlroy to miss cut after late collapse
World number one Rory McIlroy was resigned to missing his first cut since the US Open in June after a shocking finish to his second round at the Hong Kong Open today.
Peter Lawrie is well placed on four under after another round of 68, but Padraig Harrington also looks set to miss the cut as he is four over with three holes to play.
The tournament’s defending champion looked to have done what he needed to do when he had four birdies in his first 11 holes to climb to one under par in the tricky wind.
But then came four bogeys in the next five and, with his survival in the balance, a closing four-putt double bogey six at the 367-yard 10th for a 72 and five over total.
“I just got on a slide and couldn’t stop it,” said McIlroy, who was on such a high last Sunday after clinching his European and US Tour money list double.
“Obviously not the week that I wanted. I was only four off the lead and thinking I could make a couple more and be right back in contention. Unfortunately it just went the other way.
“I still love this course. It’s just a pity that this year had to end like that.
“I didn’t putt well in Singapore last week and sort of got away with it. This week was the same, so I think a bit of putting practise is required in Dubai.”
He plays the European Tour’s season’s ending DP World Tour Championship there starting next Thursday.
“I think if I was completely fresh I wouldn’t have been making the mistakes. Just one of those things – hit it in the wrong spot and misjudged the speed on a couple of putts. That’s just the way it goes.
“On the last I saw the projected cut was plus two, so I wanted to try to hole it (for birdie). I hit it a few feet by, then really knew the second putt was to make the cut.”
After missing that one he admitted he lacked concentration on the next and failed again.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball pretty good still and I think these couple of days off might actually do me good and give me a little bit of a chance to rest.”
As an early starter McIlroy still had to wait for confirmation he was out, but as the second half of the field teed off he was down in 94th place and only the top 65 and ties go through to the final 36 holes.
Dane Anders Hansen held the clubhouse lead, a six under 64 taking him to seven under and two in front of overnight pacesetter Javi Colomo, who added a 71 to his opening 64.
Out on the course, however, New Zealand’s former US Open champion Michael Campbell continued his recent revival – from 910th in the world four months ago to 339th – by going to the turn in 30.
A hat-trick of birdies from the seventh lifted Campbell alongside Hansen, while Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal and fellow Spanish star Miguel Angel Jimenez were alongside Colomo in third early in their rounds.