With the projected cut line sitting at even-par 144, the Ulsterman finished his week at 2-over 146. Though he bookended his second round with birdies on the first and 18th holes, McIlroy carded bogeys on five of the other 16 holes Friday, including three during a five-hole stretch on the back nine that sealed his fate.
'It was a tough day,' McIlroy told the Irish Times after the round. 'My short game wasn't good; wedges weren't good, didn't hole the putts. It always meant that I was, you know, just watching the cut line all day and that never gave me any freedom to go forward.'
This is the second missed cut for the 24-year-old in as many European starts, as McIlroy also sat out the weekend at the BMW PGA Championship after rounds of 74 and 75. In between those two starts he tied for 41st at the U.S. Open and will look to regain his form in advance of the season's third major at Muirfield, now just three weeks away.
McIlroy was not the only surprising victim of the 36-hole cut at Carton House Golf Club, as tournament organizers now must deal with the loss of several notable players from this week's field. Each of the four recent major champions from Ireland and Northern Ireland – McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke – will miss the cut, with McDowell and Harrington both falling one shot short after rounds of 71 and 74. Additionally, Irishman and 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley missed the cut after carding seven bogeys en route to a 4-over 76 Friday.
The 36-hole lead in County Kildare is shared by Peter Uihlein and Robert Rock, both at 9-under 135 through two rounds, with 2012 European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal and former Irish Open champion Shane Lowry both just two shots off the pace.