Rory McIlroy has admitted it will be ‘nearly impossible’ to win the Masters after a disastrous Friday saw him just make the cut line for the final two rounds.
McIlroy was last in of the weekend qualifiers and will be first out on Saturday, with a marker instead of a playing partner, after a five over par round of 77 left him on four over for the tournament.
He will start the third round a whopping 11 shots behind leader and 2012 champion Bubba Watson who is three shots clear of fellow American John Sender.
A drama filled afternoon when McIlroy struggled on the greens, almost went out of bounds on the fourth and then saw his ball bounce off a sprinkler head and into the azaleas on the 13th.
It was a day when nothing went right for the Ulsterman and he even admitted afterwards that he didn’t know he needed to sink a par putt on the 18th to make the weekend.
Clearly irked by his poor form and poorer course management, McIlroy admitted afterwards: “It was very frustrating. I just really couldn’t get anything to go my way. I had a couple of really bad breaks on four and 13.
“I got a really massive wind switch on four and then hitting the sprinkler on 13 to go up into the azaleas.
“I felt like I played well coming in. I gave myself looks at birdie almost every hole. I couldn’t get one to drop.
“I didn’t know that putt on the last was to make the cut, but when I got into the scoring area and saw that I was in joint 46th place, it was a bit of a sigh of relief that I’m here for the weekend.
“I just want to go out there and try to get off to a fast start. Eleven shots back with two rounds to play is going to be nearly impossible to make up so I’m trying to shoot two really low rounds and see where that puts me at the end of the week.
“It will take something phenomenal to shoot something in the mid-60s and get myself back under par going into the last day. But I’m going to need to be two, three or four under par going into the last day to have any sort of chance.”
Darren Clarke will join McIlroy for the weekend action at Augusta National but their fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell is on the way home to Orlando after a 78 left him on six over and two off the cut line.
Major winner McDowell said: “Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look as if there’ll be no green jacket in my wardrobe in the near future.”