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McIlroy struggles to 78, misses cut at BMW PGA

VIRGINIA WATER, England –– Rory McIlroy finally ran out of steam, and his time ran out at the BMW PGA Championship.

McIlroy will not be around to defend the title he won last year at Wentworth. A second-round, 6-over 78 around the West Course saw the World No. 1 miss his first European Tour cut since last year’s Irish Open and just his third cut in his last 45 tournaments.

“Flight to catch,” Rory said as he rushed from Wentworth to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight to Belfast.

The 78 marks McIlroy’s worst European Tour score since a 79 in the first round of the 2013 Open Championship, and his worst score worldwide since a 79 in the second round of last year’s Memorial Tournament. It’s also McIlroy’s first over-par score this season on the European Tour, and his first over-par score since a 2-over 74 during a missed cut at the Honda Classic in March.

It was clear on the 18th hole that McIlroy had thrown in the towel. He didn’t waste any time in making a bogey on the reachable par 5. Short of the water in two after driving into the rough, Rory played his lob third shot very quickly. He then three-putted, wasting little time over each putt.

The BMW PGA was McIlroy’s fourth straight tournament following three PGA Tour events, a stretch that includes two victories. He’s played 301 holes since the start of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play.

He heads home for a well-deserved rest to prepare to host next week’s Irish Open at Royal County Down.

“I’m not angry,” McIlroy said. “A little disappointed I’m not going to be here for the weekend. I’m not going to read too much into it. It was inevitable at some point that the run was going to come to a bit of an end.

“If anything good comes out of this, it’s just that I get a little bit of a rest over the next couple of days, and feel a bit fresher for what’s going to be a really big week for me next week.”

The four-time major winner looked a long way short of World No. 1 on Wentworth’s West Course. In the second round, he only hit seven of 14 fairways, and nine greens. He took 31 putts compared to 30 in Round 1. At least there was no club throwing during the second round. McIlroy threw a club on the 17th hole Thursday.

Wentworth provided the spark last year to help McIlroy to two major-championship victories. The victory was unexpected since the West Course has never been his favorite tour layout. Looks like he’s back to disliking the course that sits in the European Tour’s backyard.

“I’m sort of back to my usual at Wentworth,” he said. “It wasn’t great before I won last year and it hasn’t been great after.”

Next week might see normal service resumed. Royal County Down is one of his favorite layouts.

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