Defending champion Rory McIlroy crashed out of the BMW PGA Championship on Friday, missing the cut for the third time in four years in the European Tour’s flagship event.
McIlroy was seeking his third win in four weeks, having followed his victory in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play with a third consecutive top-10 finish in the Players Championship and a seven-shot triumph at Quail Hollow on Sunday.
However, the world number one slumped to a second round of 78 at Wentworth to finish five over par, 15 shots behind clubhouse leader Francesco Molinari.
The 26-year-old admitted his patience was wearing thin after throwing a club in frustration during an opening 71, a situation which never looked likely to improve on Friday.
Bogeys on the third and sixth were followed by a birdie on the eighth, before the wheels truly came off on the back nine with a bogey on the 10th and a double-bogey on the next, where a wild hook off the tee resulted in an unplayable lie and another hook into the crowd with his second attempt.
Further dropped shots on the 13th and 16th were followed by a birdie on the 17th, but a three-putt bogey on the last summed up McIlroy’s day and the only good news was a welcome weekend off before his duties as tournament host in next week’s Irish Open.
“I’m not going to read too much into it,” McIlroy said after his worst score since also shooting 78 in the second round of the Scottish Open last July, which was one of a string of bad Friday performances ended in style during the following week’s Open Championship.
“It was inevitable at some point that the run was going to come to a bit of an end. I’m sort of back to my usual at Wentworth. It wasn’t great before I won last year and it hasn’t been great after.
“Any time you’re defending a title you want to come back and give it a valiant effort. This week wasn’t really that. I’m not angry. A little disappointed I’m not going to be here for the weekend, but if there was any weekend to miss, coming off the back of three good weeks in the States.... I’m probably in need of a little bit of a rest.
“If anything good comes out of this, it’s just that I get a couple of days over the weekend to refresh mentally.”Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke will feature over the weekend after making the cut at Wentworth.
The pair both shot one-under-par rounds of 71 to reach the halfway stage on one over.
Michael Hoey shot another round of three-over-par to miss the cut on six-over-par.