Maynooth, Ireland: World number two Rory McIlroy’s troubles with his driver continued as he failed to make the cut in the Irish Open at Carton House on Friday.
McIlroy continues to struggle from the tee, revealing he will meet Nike technical staff again next week before the British Open at Muirfield.
The 24-year-old posted a second round 72 for a two-over par tally to miss the cut by two shots in windy and overcast conditions.
In 43 stroke-play rounds this year on either the European or PGA Tours, McIlroy has only managed to break 70 on 11 occasions.
“I am spending more time with Nike’s technical staff as this was a new driver I had in the bag this week but it still wasn’t 100 per cent what I want,” he said. “So I am testing with them again next week.
“I am still confident in my ability to hit the golf ball and hit good shots but then confidence comes from hitting good shots and seeing the ball go in the hole, and shooting good rounds and posting good results.
“I guess in that way the results are not great, but from being on the golf course and seeing some good shots today I am definitely more positive now than this time yesterday.”
And unlike earlier this year, when McIlroy added the Valero Texas Open in the week prior to the Masters, McIlroy will not be tempted to add either next week’s French Open or the following week’s Scottish Open to his schedule.
“No, I am not going to add a tournament as I am going to take the next two weeks off,” he said.
“I have a couple of commitments, including my cousin’s wedding next weekend, and then I’m planning to play a first practice round at Muirfield next Monday week, and the start of the week before The Open week,” he said.
“If I didn’t have these couple of things to do then I would probably add a tournament but I just need to find a little consistency in my ball-striking.
“I hit quite a few good shots out there but there are a few bad ones in there and it’s those bad ones that are costing me, and I wasn’t sharp enough around the greens.
“I was confident when I played in San Antonio because I found something on the range on the Friday night and had a really good weekend that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Florida’s Peter Uihlein (68) and England’s Robert Rock (66) head the €2m (Dh9.55m) event on nine under par.
Six players — Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal, Sweden’s Oscar Floren, Holland’s Joost Luiten, Portugal’s Ricardo Santos and Ireland’s Shane Lowry — share third place at seven under par.
Scotland’s Scott Henry recorded a new Carton House course record of an eight-under-par 64 and two shots fewer than the previous mark set by four players including Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn on route to victory in 2006.
Leading second round scores in the Irish Open at the Carton House course in Maynooth, Ireland, on Friday (par 72, GBR & IRL unless stated):
135 - Robert Rock 69 66, Peter Uihlein (USA) 67 68
137 - Jose-Maria Olazabal (ESP) 68 69, Shane Lowry 67 70, Joost Luiten (NED) 67 70, Ricardo Santos (POR) 71 66, Oscar Floren (SWE) 66 71
138 - Scott Henry 74 64, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69 69, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69 69
139 - Daniel Gaunt (AUS) 71 68, Anders Hansen (DEN) 69 70, Peter Whiteford 71 68, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68 71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 69 70
140 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 73 67, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 72 68, Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 72 68, Paul Casey 68 72, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 73 67, Jamie Donaldson 69 71, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 71 69, Eddie Pepperell 71 69, Alexandre Kaleka (FRA) 72 68
141 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71 70, Gareth Shaw 73 68, Danny Willett 73 68, Chris Paisley 69 72, Oliver Fisher 71 70, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 71 70, Stephen Dodd 71 70, Paul Lawrie 71 70, Justin Walters (RSA) 72 69, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 70 71