SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Tiger Woods wasn’t the only big name to miss the cut Friday at Shinnecock Hills.
Four of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are also heading home early at the 118th U.S. Open – World No. 4 Jordan Spieth, No. 5 Jon Rahm, No. 6 Rory McIlroy and No. 8 Jason Day.
Many of them dug too big of a hole in Thursday’s more difficult scoring conditions, including McIlroy, who followed a first-round 80 with an even-par 70 to finish at 10 over and miss the cut by two shots.
“I felt like my game was good coming in here,” said McIlroy, who tied for eighth at the Memorial two weeks ago, a week after finishing runner-up at the BMW PGA. “I think I was just blown away by the wind yesterday. That was the real thing. I mean, I haven’t played in wind like that for quite a long time and I just felt like I couldn’t aim far enough left or right to allow for the wind.
“… Yesterday, I just wish I could’ve maybe just had one day to prepare for something like that. I feel like it would’ve been a different story this week.”
McIlroy missed just one green on Friday and shot 4-under 31 on the back nine with four birdies. But playing the first 27 holes in 14 over was too much to overcome. McIlroy, who won the 2011 U.S. Open, has now missed three straight U.S. Open cuts.
“It’s a tough tournament,” McIlroy said. “You know, I haven’t fared well here in the past few years and I came in here with the right attitude, kept everything really positive. Even after yesterday I felt like I could go out today and shoot something in the 60s and make the weekend.”
McIlroy’s playing competitor, Jordan Spieth, also made a strong back-nine charge on Friday. Spieth, who shot 78 in Round 1, was 11 over through 29 holes before making four straight birdies, at Nos. 13-16, to get to 7 over, a shot inside the projected cut line.
However, Spieth bogeyed each of his final two holes, missing a 5-foot par putt on 17 and a 10-footer on 18, to miss by a shot. It was just the second missed cut in eight career U.S. Open starts for the 2015 U.S. Open champion.
Spieth’s agent declined a USGA interview request for Spieth after the round.
Rahm and playing competitor Sergio Garcia each missed the cut, as well, though by a wider margin than McIlroy and Spieth. Rahm shot 78-77 to finish at 15 over while Garcia went 75-79 to end up a shot better, at 14 over. Rahm has now missed two straight cuts since tying for 23rd at Oakmont in 2016. Garcia hasn’t missed a U.S. Open cut since 2007.
Day, who had cracked the top 10 in five of his first six U.S. Open starts, has now missed two straight after shooting 79-73 and posting 12 over.
Other notables to miss the cut include Bubba Watson (11 over), Matt Kuchar (12 over) and Adam Scott (13 over). Kuchar was 2 under through his first five holes on Thursday, before playing his final 26 in 14 over.