Rory McIlroy reacts to missing a birdie putt on the second day of play at the Valero Texas Open golf tournament in San Antonio. Jerry Lara
Texas hold 'em

Rory McIlroy and G-Mac miss the cut in Texas

It’s not the Masters prep the Holywood man would have wanted.

RORY MCILROY AND Graeme McDowell will sit out the weekend action in San Antonio as they both missed the cut at the Texas Open last night. 

McIlroy, saying he felt ‘settled’ and ready for a green jacket bid at the Masters next weekend, had been looking to fine tune his game ahead of Augusta. 

Coming off an even par first round, McIlroy bogeyed the second and made the turn at one over.

Another bogey at the 12th, where he was in the trees off the tee, was followed by a birdie at 17, but he went left off the tee at 18 and had to scramble to save par for a one-over 73 that left him two shots outside the cut line. 

McDowell was +3 for his round and saw his weekend end prematurely too. 

Ryan Palmer nabbed six birdies in a six-under par 66 on Friday to take a two-shot second-round lead.

The American built a 36-hole total of 134 in the final event before the Masters, where reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama withdrew with a neck injury.

“Awesome,” Palmer said. “Bogey-free on this golf course is good any day, but when you throw in the winds we had, it makes it that much more special.”

Palmer, chasing a fifth US PGA Tour title, got up and down from a greenside bunker for a birdie at the second, then rolled in a 32-foot birdie at the third.

He followed a birdie at the par-five eighth with a 16-foot birdie at the ninth, then bagged another brace of birdies at 14 and 15.

“I’m excited the way I’m driving the ball again,” Palmer said. “My driver’s back to where it was a year ago, my game’s where it was I feel like a year ago, my mind, and it’s showing.”

He was two strokes clear of Americans Kevin Chappell and Matt Kuchar and South African Dylan Frittelli.

Chappell highlighted his own bogey-free round with an eagle at the par-five second hole, where his second shot from the right rough landed four feet from the pin.

After teeing off on 10 and picking up three birdies in his first nine holes,he added a 15-foot birdie at the eighth and a 17-footer at the ninth.

“I really am proud of the way I played,” Chappell said of his performance in sometimes difficult, windy conditions. “I hung in there. I’m excited about where my game is because I don’t think I played great yet.”

Kuchar was one over for the round through 10 holes, but seized his share of second with a storming finish that featured four birdies in a row from the 14th through the 17th on the way to a 69.

Frittelli, meanwhile, made all six of his birdies in his first 11 holes, then parred his way in for a 66.

 – © AFP 2022

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