• Memorial Tournament, Round Two

McIlroy misses third straight cut as Woods looms

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy missed the cut for a third straight tournament after a wretched second round at the Memorial Tournament, where Tiger Woods remains in the hunt for Sunday's title.

McIlroy, who showed signs of capitulation in his opening round when he quadruple-bogeyed the ninth, shot a seven-over 79 on Friday as his campaign ended before the weekend.

The former world No. 1 bogeyed twice on the front nine, before his day truly unravelled at the 11th. Finding water with his second shot, he then returned to the same hazard with his exit attempt, signing for a double-bogey.

McIlroy then dropped another at 13 before a further double-bogey at 14, with his short game lacking any type of consistency. He joined the likes of Angel Cabrera and Jason Day in missing the cut.

"I hit some good shots, it just seems like every time I go out there I make one or two big numbers and that sort of throws me," McIlroy said. "Just those big numbers at the beginning are killing me, and I just need to get those off the card and I'll be OK.

"I hit some good shots out there. I'm definitely hitting the ball better than I did last week, so I can see an improvement there. But I've still got a long way to go [ahead of the US Open]."

Rory Sabbatini takes a one-stroke lead into the weekend with a score of six-under, thanks to a three-under 69 on Friday. Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings are a shot back on five-under, alongside the looming figure of Woods who showed glimpses of his best form en route to a 69.

After an encouraging opening round of 70, Woods continued to show signs his game is starting to become more solid when he fired his approach to 17 inches for a tap-in birdie at the first. A four-footer saw him pick up another shot at the par-three fourth, before another birdie - this time arriving courtesy of a majestic 26-foot putt - at the sixth saw him move alongside Levin and Stallings.

In all there were five birdies in the round, only spoiled by a double-bogey five at the 12th. Nevertheless, the American fancies his chances of attacking from one stroke back.

"The guys aren't going to go out there and shoot a bunch of low rounds out here," Woods said. "This golf course is hard. The pin locations for tomorrow are going to be difficult. So it's going to be another good test."

Elsewhere, Adam Scott is four off the leader following a 72. The Australian was on course for a low score after draining four birdies in a bogey-free front nine, but he hit trouble coming in and headed for the clubhouse with much to consider after reeling off three consecutive bogeys on his final three holes.

Rickie Fowler is on the same score after back-to-back 71s, while Justin Rose is stranded on one-over after the Englishman signed for a 72. England's Greg Owen was on one-under, one shot ahead of compatriot and world number one Luke Donald.

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