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Rory McIlroy Photo by: Google Images

McIlroy urges support for Clarke and McDowell as he bids adieu to Muirfield

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Rory McIlroy Photo by: Google Images

Rory McIlroy wants golf fans to shout for Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell at the British Open after his own Muirfield nightmare was completed.

The world number two missed the cut as expected at the Scottish links on Friday, the first time he has failed to make the final two rounds at the Major.

A disastrous opening day 79 saw McIlroy requiring a miracle on Friday as Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez continued to set the pace in his bid to become the oldest ever Major winner.

McIlroy finished 12 over after going for broke from the ninth hole onwards on Friday and letting rip with his new driver.

But he insisted he has nothing to worry about or apologise for after his poor form in 2013 continued.

McIlroy said: “I can’t really be disappointed in myself because I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong in terms under preparing.

“I’ve done everything I could; it just didn’t work out for me.”

He now wants fans to shout for former winner Clarke, four shots off the pace,  and his fellow Ulsterman McDowell, seven shots behind Jimenez.

He said: “I know G-Mac finished on 4 and Darren finished on 1. Yeah, they’re close enough to the lead.

“Obviously Clarkie has had that Claret Jug before, and it would be good to see him win it this weekend.”

McIlroy played his last 10 holes in one under par and will now look to make an impression when he plays six times, mostly on the US tour, in the next eight weeks.

He said: “I needed to get off to a fast start to have any chance of being here for the weekend.

“I was five-over through eight holes, so that didn’t really happen. But after that I just decided to try and practice a little bit for the next few weeks.

“And I decided that I was going to hit driver every hole that I could, because that’s going to be a big factor the next few weeks.

“And I hit some good drives out there. And by the looks of it I should have probably hit driver everywhere this week. It might have done me better.”

Set to defend his US PGA title in the coming weeks, McIlroy is confident he can turn the corner after not playing enough golf of late.

He said: “Sometimes this game can feel further away than it actually is. And obviously at the end of yesterday it couldn’t have felt much further away.

“And today you played the last 10 holes like that, you see some positive signs. And you try and sort of take anything you can from that.

“I’ve got a nice run of events coming up, six events in the next eight weeks. I’m looking forward to playing golf and playing tournaments and getting into a run of events.

“I’m really looking forward to Akron. It’s a place I’ve done well before. It’s a place I feel I can win. So going there, I’m really excited to just play four rounds of golf. There’s no cut!

“I think my schedule hasn’t been quite right. Swing hasn’t been quite right. And a combination of those has led to, I guess, sloppy play, just because of not sharp enough.

“I think it’s better to play my way out of, and that’s something I haven’t really done this year.”

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