McIlroy and McDowell left to fly Irish flag after Clarke misses cut - Golf - Sport - The Independent

McIlroy and McDowell left to fly Irish flag after Clarke misses cut

There will be no Darren Clarke or Padraig Harrington for the huge crowds to cheer on in the final two rounds of the Irish Open here, but Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell plan to fill the void.

McIlroy, not backing down in the slightest in his Twitter row with former European Tour player Jay Townsend, grabbed three late birdies for a second-round 68 yesterday.

When asked about Townsend's "spoilt brat" remark, McIlroy responded yesterday: "Well, I'm an only child – if that means I'm spoilt I don't know. Everybody's got their own opinion and you just to have to take it with a pinch of salt."

Meanwhile, fellow Ulsterman McDowell went two better than McIlroy to put both of them on four under par at halfway. But that is six behind German Marcel Siem, who late in the day eagled the long 16th and sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the next to move one ahead of Indian Jeev Milkha Singh and Dane Soren Hansen.

For Clarke and Harrington, though, the end had come by lunchtime. In his first start since his dream Open Championship victory at Sandwich earlier this month, 42-year-old Clarke dropped four shots in the last eight holes for a 74 and one-over aggregate.

Three-time major winner Harrington had little hope after double-bogeying the short sixth and with a 72 crashed out on three over par. That is now back-to-back missed cuts for the Dubliner before he returns to America and, already down to 64th place in the world rankings, he is likely to fall even further now.

"It's disappointing, but it's only a game," stated Harrington. "There's no doubt that changes are required – for the sake of it rather than anything else. I'm doing everything I would have done when I was winning majors, it's just something fresh is needed. You need a bit of spark somewhere. Even on my worst days I'm not too bad. It's not like I'm shooting 77-78 sort of thing, but momentum is an important thing and I don't have it at the moment.

"I'm not thinking of changing personnel. I've got to change something in myself, attitude or something along the lines of that. I'm not taking time off – I like playing golf."

Clarke admitted his mental energy levels were down after a bout of flu followed his post-Open celebrations. "I just couldn't get anything going," he commented. "A weekend off is not what I wanted. It probably won't do me any harm, albeit I would much prefer to be here to play.

"A couple of things went my way over at Sandwich and here bounces went the other way. Payback time I suppose. I didn't have much time off after the Open, but that's no excuse for shooting 74."

Singh led by two after an opening 63 that matched the lowest round of his career and, given he hit a wild opening drive beside Lough Leane, he settled for adding a 70. But that allowed ex-Ryder Cup man Hansen to catch him with a 66, while defending champion Ross Fisher and fellow Englishmen Simon Dyson and Simon Wakefield are among those on seven under and Irish amateur Paul Cutler stands six under after a 67.

Selected Scores

European Tour Irish Open, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland: Early second round scores (GB & Irl unless stated, par 71; *=amateur): 133 J M Singh (India) 63 70; 135 R Jacquelin (Fr) 67 68; S Wakefield 69 66; 136 C Del Moral (Sp) 69 67; D McGrane 69 67; P Cutler* 69 67; 137 R Ramsay 68 69; L Gagli (It) 68 69; 138 F Aguilar (Chile) 68 70; T Olesen (Den) 69 69; J Donaldson 70 68; M Brier (Aut) 70 68; 139 R Bland 70 69; N Fasth (Swe) 69 70; J Morrison 71 68; 140 R Jan Derksen (Neth) 71 69; S Kapur (India) 71 69; A Canizares (Sp) 67 73; J Van Zyl (SA) 70 70; A Kaleka (Fr) 65 75; 141 P Whiteford 70 71; R Dinwiddie 70 71; K Ferrie 72 69; O Fisher 68 73; L Saltman 67 74; D Drysdale 71 70; J Sjoholm (Swe) 69 72; K Horne (SA) 70 71; T Goya (Arg) 71 70; 142 S Manley 71 71; D Willett 72 70; D Higgins 71 71; V Dubuisson (Fr) 73 69; P McGinley 70 72; 143 M Campbell (NZ) 66 77; S Pinckney (US) 73 70; D Clarke 69 74; R McGowan 68 75; 144 G Murphy 73 71; T Sluiter (Neth) 75 69; J Zapata (Arg) 72 72; B Dredge 71 73; 145 C Wood 75 70; G Maybin 74 71; P Price 72 73; M Korhonen (Fin) 72 73; G Bourdy (Fr) 72 73; P Harrington 73 72; 146 L Bond 74 72; S Norris (SA) 70 76; R Karlberg (Swe) 76 70; S Jamieson 72 74; S Benson 71 75; 147 R Finch 71 76; R McEvoy 71 76; A Harto (Den) 73 74; 148 D Mooney 74 74; N Kearney 73 75; S S P Chowrasia (India) 73 75; 149 N Dougherty 75 74; D McElroy 72 77; 150 D Mortimer 78 72; 151 N Fox 74 77; 152 E Brady 77 75; S Lowry 74 78; 153 D Carter 78 75; S Hend (Aus) 78 75. DQ: B Trainor. RTD: J-B Gonnet (Fr).

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week