Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy make the cut at Augusta but Graeme McDowell misses out

Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy just about made the cut on the second day of The Masters.

Clarke dug in to shoot a second successive 74 to make the cut on four over par.

McIlroy holed a nervy putt on the 18th to finish on four over – meaning he will play over the weekend.

“I didn’t quite hit the ball today as I did yesterday. You know, it was a grind it out sort of day,” Clarke said after his round.

The 2011 Open champion birdied the par five second but dropped shots at six and seven.

Further bogeys at 11 and 13 left him in danger of missing the cut but he hit back with a birdie at 15, followed that up with another dropped shot at 17 and finished in style with a birdie at the last.

“I hit some good shots but I wasn’t quite hitting the ball crisply enough today,” added Clarke.

“Consequently if you do that around here you don’t get the ball close enough to the hole.

“If you miss it in the wrong place it’s a real tough up and down you have to stay patient and try to minimise your mistakes.”

McIlroy started the day on one under but his second round started to unravel with a series of missed putts.

A bogey at the second was compounded by a double bogey at the fourth, but two birdies on the front nine saw McIlroy reach the turn on level par for the tournament.

A double bogey six at the 10th was followed by another dropped shot at the 11th and a bogey six at the 13th which had the Holywood star right on the cut line.

McIlroy managed to par the last five holes to stay in the tournament.

Graeme McDowell, who has only made two cuts at The Masters, signed for a second round 78 that saw him miss out again.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was delighted to make the cut on his Masters debut after a second round played in testing conditions at Augusta National.

Gallacher added a 72 to his opening 71 with four birdies and four bogeys for a halfway total of one under par, that could look even better with the wind strengthening for the later starters.

“I’m glad to be in the red numbers. It’s a bit tricky out there today,” said the 39-year-old, who qualified primarily by successfully defending his Dubai Desert Classic title earlier this season.

“The wind is a bit up and the greens are firming up so I’m delighted with par.

“I probably could have (gone lower), but I got away with a few things and I got lucky on a couple of things. But I think that’s the course, if you get out of position a bogey’s good.

“I drove the ball well again today. I only missed one fairway but you’ve to keep thinking, you’ve got to have acceptance levels that are high. It’s a very strategic course.

“I think everybody back home knows how to play it, it’s just a case of trying to do it that’s the hard part. Generally I would say if I missed a green or anything like that, you have to be happy with bogey.”