McIlroy slumps out of Irish Open

The Irish Open's headline act and reigning champion Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut with a score of one over par after day two.

Rory McIlroy has failed to make the cut at the Irish Open   -  Getty Images

Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut in the Irish Open for the fourth time in five years as he hit a disappointing 73 at Portstewart Golf Club on Friday.

The reigning champion left himself with an uphill challenge on day two, having ended day one eight shots behind joint leaders Benjamin Hebert and Daniel Im. And the 28-year-old four-time major winner could not recover, his score of 73 taking him to a combined total of one over par at the halfway stage, ensuring the competition will head into the final two days without its marquee player.

McIlroy's poor display was summed up on the seventh hole - his 16th of the day - when he hammered his driver into a tee marker following a poor drive, with a dreadful double bogey on the eighth all but ending the World No. 4's hopes. "I'm deflated more than anything," McIlroy said.

"It is disappointing because I felt like I came in here playing well. I now need to practise hard over the weekend to get ready for next week and of course The Open. This is just a disappointment for me. I just wish I could have been playing here over the weekend."

At the top of the leaderboard, American Im and Frenchman Hebert both posted impressive totals of 67 to move onto 13 under par. Justin Rose failed to match his 67 from round one, hitting 70 to drop down 10 places on the leaderboard, while Jon Rahm's 67 keeps him in contention on 12 under.