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The Open 2019: Rory McIlroy misses cut after brave fight; Shane Lowry takes share of lead

‘Birdie, birdie, birdie!’ – Lowry’s lightning start
The 148th Open Championship – second-round leaderboard
-8 JB Holmes (US), S Lowry (Ire); -7 L Westwood (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng); -6 C Smith (Aus), J Harding (SA), J Rose (Eng); -5 B Koepka (US), J Spieth (US), A Puttnam (US), D Frittelli (SA); -4 T Finau (US), J Rahm (Spa), P Reed (US), E Van Rooyen (SA), L Bjerregaard (Den), M Kuchar (US)
Selected others: -3 R Fowler (US); -2 E Els J Day (SA); -1 D Willett (Eng); E F Molinari (Ita); +6 T Woods (US); +7 I Poulter (Eng); +8 P Mickelson (US)

Rory McIlroy agonisingly missed out on the cut at The Open as Ireland’s Shane Lowry produced a four-under-par 67 to take a share of the lead.

McIlroy’s 79 on Thursday left him seven shots shy of the cut at one over, and he almost achieved his feat but failed to pick up birdie at the last.

Lowry, 32, is on eight under alongside USA’s JB Holmes, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood a shot back.

Another Englishman, Justin Rose, is on six under after a 67 at Royal Portrush.

‘I dug in and showed good resilience’

The crowd following the Northern Ireland’s McIlroy around the County Antrim course began to grow in size as he sank birdie after birdie on the inward nine.

By the 18th the cheer that greeted the 2014 champion was as if he was going for his second title rather than a mission to make the cut.

However, his hopes faded with his approach to the green as the wind took the ball down the bank. The following chip landed wide and ended the 30-year-old’s hopes of winning a major on home soil.

He told Sky Sports: “Part of me is very disappointed not to be here for the weekend. I’m emotional but happy with how I played.

“The support I got out there was incredible and you could see on the back nine, I went with it today and that’s what I was planning to do all week.

“Yesterday gave me a mountain to climb but I dug in and showed good resilience.

“It’s going to hurt for a bit. I’ve been looking forward to this week for a long time.

“I didn’t play my part but everyone in Northern Ireland came out to watch me and played theirs.”

More to follow.

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