Rory McIlroy misses cut at Irish Open

Home favourite Rory McIlroy misses the cut at the Irish Open for the second straight year, but compatriot Graeme McDowell is two shots off the lead at the Fota Island Resort.

Home favourite Rory McIlroy has missed the cut at the Irish Open for the second year in a row.

The former world number one shot an inconsistent round of 69 on Friday, which included an eagle and a double bogey, to card one-over-par after 36 holes.

Overnight leader Mikko Ilonen added a 68 to his opening course-record effort of 64 around the Fota Island Resort course, setting the pace at 10-under-par and leaving McIlroy disappointingly foul of the 10-shot rule.

"It's very frustrating," McIlroy told reporters: "To make six birdies and an eagle and shoot just two under means there were a lot of mistakes and wasteful shots. To miss the cut for the second year in a row is not a nice position to be in. I don't know what else to say, it's very disappointing.

"I'm proud of myself how I fought out there and didn't give up and tried for the last shot. I gave myself a chance to try to make the cut with the big birdie putt on 17, but just wasn't meant to be.

"I just need to tighten it all up and become a lot more consistent, make the bad shots a little bit better and not be as wasteful around the greens. If I can do that, I know my game is right there. I've got a couple weeks off now to work on my game a little bit, play some links golf and get ready for the Scottish Open and the Open."

This is the first European Tour cut that McIlroy has missed during 2014, but his Irish compatriot Graeme McDowell is joint-second on the leaderboard, having matched his 66 from Thursday to move to eight-under.

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland ponders a shot during the first round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain on February 19, 2014
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