AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rory McIlroy’s bid to complete a career grand slam will have to wait yet another year as the world’s No. 2 player appears almost certain to miss the cut at the Masters for the second time in three years.
McIlroy needs a win at Augusta National to become only the sixth golfer in history to win all four majors, but struggled mightily on Friday. He shot 77 to leave him at 5-over par through 36 holes — three shots behind the projected cut.
He is currently tied for 61st place. The top 50 make the cut.
Several golfers were still on the course when play was suspended due to stormy weather that caused three trees to fall at Augusta National.
McIlroy’s chances of playing on the weekend are extremely slim unless bad weather heavily impacts the scores of other golfers on Saturday, when play is scheduled to resume. The forecast for the area calls for more rain.
Brooks Koepka led the tournament at 12 under when play was suspended a second time.
McIlroy didn’t speak to the media after his round because all interviews were postponed due to the weather warning at that time.
“I consider Rory a friend, so it’s nice to go out and play some golf with him, world-class player,” said playing partner Sam Burns. “It’s fun to watch him. I know he didn’t have his best stuff.”
The 33-year-old McIlroy was one of the favorites coming into the week after a second place finish at last year’s Masters. But after shooting 72 on Thursday, nothing consistently went well for the Northern Irishman in round two as he bogeyed four of his first seven holes to shoot 40 on the front nine.
The wheels appeared to completely fall off on No. 11 when he shanked his approach shot into the woods and was forced to take a drop, leading him to hang his head in disgust.
It wasn’t until the modified par-5 13th — the tee box has been pushed back about 35 yards — when McIlroy make his first birdie of the day. He made another on the 15th to get back to 3 over, but closed with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 to end a disappointing day.
This is McIlroy’s 15th appearance at the Masters and said earlier in the week he had “all of the ingredients” to win the tournament, but just needed to put them altogether.
That didn’t happen on Friday as seven bogeys did him in.
His normally reliable driver abandoned him, as he found the bunker on No. 2 and the trees on the 7th. His short game failed him too, as he sent a short sand wedge over the back of the green on No. 3. The putts simply weren’t falling.
This was the ninth time McIlroy has come to Augusta National looking fill the one void on his major resume. McIlroy has won won the PGA Championship twice, along with the British Open and U.S. Open, but still remains winless at the Masters — a course many believe is perfectly set up for him to succeed.
He has not won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship.
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