McIlroy misses another cut and admits 'taking my eye off the ball'



James Morrison, ranked No 236 in the world, crafted a 64 to lead the BMW PGA Championship by four shots. Rory McIlory, world No 1, needed a birdie at the last to avoid the embarrassment of an 80 and close 21 shots in arrears. To corrupt Sir Alex Ferguson; golf, bloody hell.

For the second successive event McIlroy is left contemplating a missed cut. Yes the wind got up in the afternoon to brutalise an already demanding course, but McIlroy's response to it was not the stuff of myth. Three weeks hence he begins the defence of his US Open crown. He cannot conquer Olympic Club playing like this.

Morrison has missed five cuts in his past 10 events. He has not finished higher than 30th all year. Yet here he is filling the space that was supposed to be McIlroy's. A caricature of his regal best McIlroy carded dropped shots at six successive holes around the turn, a reminder, perhaps, that at 23 years old the mood swings of adolescence have yet to leave him.

There is a precedent for the Morrison turbo thrust. He did not take up the game until he was 16 and within 10 months had bolted from an 18-handicap to scratch. As a youngster cricket was his game and had he chosen differently might have been striding out at Trent Bridge today alongside his teenage contemporaries in the England youth ranks, Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan.

His final contribution with the bat was an undefeated century for Surrey under-17s against Middlesex. By then golf had claimed his heart and yesterday love really started to blossom in a remarkable round of 64. Today he has world No 2 Luke Donald for company in the final group. The two have never met though Donald, who took five years to negotiate the same stretch of the handicap ladder, observed the very best of golfing etiquette by claiming that he knew of his playing partner.

Donald said: "A 64 is very impressive. To shoot that on this course in any conditions is great going," Donald said. Never mind the 64, Luke, what about Morrison's sacking of the handicap system? "I was off 18 when I was 10. By the time I got to scratch I was 14 or 15, so it took me five years at least. He's got a little head start."

Morrison's challenge is to convert the arresting start into a substantial finish. A fortnight from now he is due to become a father for the first time. Maybe life's ball is just rolling for him. He claims this has been coming. Don't they all? He has put 15 yards on his tee shots and the temperature is starting to rise in his putter. Whatever happens, he says, it beats playing cricket.

"I was on a scholarship [at Surrey] until I was 18," Morrison said. "My last game was 114 not out. I called it a day after that and have never really looked back. Playing golf is better than standing in the field all day between fine leg and third man, I can tell you that."

Maybe McIlroy fancies taking up cricket. Anything but golf was the message conveyed by a set of figures that would make a Greek banker wince. Lee Westwood required a birdie at the last to make the cut on one over par.

McIlroy said: "I have taken my eye off the ball and did not practice as hard as I might. I have lacked competitive golf after taking a couple of weeks off following the Masters. On the back nine I was already thinking about [Memorial] next week. This was a week I'd like to forget."

Wentworth scores

BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth GC, Surrey: Early Second round (GB & Irl unless stated, par 72): 132 J Morrison 68 64; 136 D Drysdale 66 70; L Donald 68 68; 137 P Lawrie 66 71; A Quiros (Sp) 67 70; 138 F Molinari (It) 68 70; B Grace (SA) 69 69; M Siem (Ger) 71 67; P Hedblom (Swe) 68 70; R Gonzalez (Arg) 71 67; J Rose 67 71; R Cabrera Bello (Sp) 68 70; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 70 68; 139 R Sterne (SA) 71 68; E Molinari (It) 69 70; 140 C Schwartzel (SA) 69 71; N Fasth (Swe) 67 73; J Donaldson 67 73; M Kaymer (Ger) 71 69; D Willett 69 71; D Higgins 70 70; 141 M Angel Jimenez (Sp) 71 70; V Dubuisson (Fr) 70 71; 142 R Jan Derksen (Neth) 71 71; R S Johnson (Swe) 67 75; G Havret (Fr) 75 67; 143 S Webster 69 74; D McGrane 71 72; C Montgomerie 69 74; R Finch 76 67; T Jaidee (Thai) 71 72; 144 B Rumford (Aus) 70 74; M Ilonen (Fin) 74 70; P McGinley 73 71; 145 J Kingston (SA) 71 74; P Streeter 71 74; B Curtis (US) 70 75; S S P Chowrasia (India) 69 76; A Cejka (Ger) 75 70; O Floren (Swe) 74 71; S Lowry 71 74; R Green (Aus) 72 73; S Little 72 73; 146 P Price 73 73; N Colsaerts (Bel) 72 74; M Cort 74 72; 147 S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 77; R Karlsson (Swe) 73 74; P Whiteford 77 70; A Pavan (It) 74 73; D Howell 73 74; S Micheel (US) 73 74; G Bourdy ( Fr) 74 73; 148 R Coles 75 73; R Beem (US) 75 73; G Fdez-Castano (Sp) 75 73; D Clarke 71 77; 149 D Denison 75 74; G Boyd 76 73; M Campbell (NZ) 78 71; 150 C Del Moral (Sp) 72 78; Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fr) 76 74; A Wall 78 72; M Jonzon (Swe) 74 76; J Van Zyl (SA) 77 73; 151 J Elson 78 73; L Gagli (It) 72 79; 152 K Horne (SA) 70 82; 153 D J Smith 79 74; 154 P Casey 78 76; R Wallis 73 81; G Storm 78 76; 155 R Davies 73 82; 156 B Hebert (Fr) 83 73; 157 M Brier (Aut) 75 82.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable