Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods miss cut at HSBC Championship
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (4E Sports) – The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will play its last two rounds without the top two players in the world after Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both missed the cut Friday.
The top-ranked McIlroy struggled with his new Nike equipment, firing a second straight 75 in the second round to miss the 36-hole cut by three strokes.
Woods, for his part, missed the cut by one stroke after he was slapped with a two-stroke penalty for taking an improper drop on the fifth hole.
“It’s tough because I didn’t get off to a very good start today and I fought and got it back,” said Woods, who received a $3 million appearance fee.
“I was right there and I felt that if I had close to even par, I had a chance going into the weekend, being only eight back. Evidently it wasn’t enough,” he added.
Woods mistakenly thought he could take relief from an embedded lie on the fifth hole. He even sought fellow player Martin Kaymer to ask his opinion. Kaymer agreed, so Woods took a drop.
However, a writer summoned European Tour’s Andy McFee to look into the situation. He determined that it was a sandy area to the right of the fifth fairway, meaning Woods was not entitled to a drop. Fee said Woods should have played it as it lay or taken an unplayable lie, a 1-stroke penalty.
With the two-stroke penalty, Woods received a triple bogey on the fifth hole that resulted to a two-round total of 147.
It was the first time in 22 regular European Tour events Woods has played in his career that he missed the cut. He has won eight of those events, including twice in nearby Dubai.
McIlroy also had his share of controversies as he was spotted using his old putter – a Titleist Scotty Cameron – instead of the Nike’s Method putter that he agreed to use when he signed a deal worth more than $100 million over five years to wear its apparel, shoes, gloves and play its clubs.
“We understand it takes time. It’s a process and we are confident he’ll change when he’s ready,” Nike said in a statement Friday.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose fired a second-round 69 to grab a one-stroke lead over Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Jamie Donaldson and Thorbjorn Olesen.