Rory McIlroy set to miss cut at Honda Classic
World number one Rory McIlroy admitted Friday he needs to sharpen up with the Masters only weeks away, as he looked set to miss the cut at the US PGA Tour`s Honda Classic.
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland found just one birdie with five bogeys in a four-over-par 74 for a seven-over total of 147 that left him three shots over the projected cut line when darkness halted the second round of the rain-hit $6.1 million event in Florida.
"I don`t like missing cuts," said McIlroy, who last missed a cut on US soil at the 2012 US Open, but missed the cut at the European Tour`s Irish Open last June.
"You want to be playing on the weekend and I`m not there," added McIlroy, who was already looking forward to next week`s World Golf Championships event at Doral in Miami.
When McIlroy walked off the green at PGA National`s ninth hole -- where he made his fifth bogey of the day after hitting into a fairway bunker -- Patrick Reed was the clubhouse leader on six-under and McIlroy was four shots outside the projected cut line.
When play was halted for the day, Brendan Steele was atop the leaderboard at eight-under through four holes.
Jim Herman, the surprise first-round leader, didn`t tee off until after 5:00 pm because of two weather delays lasting a total of three hours and 45 minutes. Herman remained at five-under through three holes.
The projected cut line had risen from three-over par to four-over, but McIlroy was resigned to missing it.
"I`ve just got to regroup and put some work in and get ready for Miami next week," he said.
McIlroy opened with a bogey at the par-four 10th and finished his front nine with a bogey at 18.
He pulled a shot back at the par-three fifth hole when he rattled in a five-foot putt, but bogeyed three of his last four holes.
In two days, McIlroy hit only 14 of 28 greens in regulation..
It was a disappointing performance after McIlroy insisted on Thursday he could still turn things around after a three-over 73 in the wind-swept opening round.McIlroy arrived Stateside for his first US PGA Tour start of 2015 on a high.
In his last 12 tournaments worldwide, McIlroy has four victories and four runner-up finishes.
That stretch started with his Open Championship triumph at Hoylake and included a World Golf Championships title at Akron, Ohio, last year and a second straight major crown at the US PGA Championship.
He opened his European Tour season with a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and a victory three weeks ago in the Dubai Desert Classic.
"Usually I`m good at taking it from the range to the course," McIlroy said. "That`s never really been a problem with me.
"But this week, it was funny, it felt like the first tournament of the season when I`ve actually played two events. I felt yesterday maybe a little tentative, just maybe trying to ease my way into the round a little bit and not really being that aggressive."
At the Masters, which starts April 9 at Augusta National, McIlroy will be gunning for a third straight major and to complete a career Grand Slam.