PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland, July 19 (Reuters) - Hometown favourite Rory McIlroy was most likely to miss the halfway cut at the British Open on Friday, despite matching the best score of the championship with a six-under-par 65 in the second round at Royal Portrush.
However, the damage had already been done with an opening 79 that included a sickening quadruple-bogey at the first hole.
A sombre-looking McIlroy showed his appreciation to the crowd after sinking a 10-foot par putt at the final hole, coming up probably one shot short of qualifying for the final two rounds with his two-over 144 score.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Adam Scott and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland were among other big-names destined to bow out early as the championship lost much of its star power. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina Editing by Christian Radnedge)