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The PGA Tour made headlines recently by announcing that several no-cut events will be added to the schedule starting next season, which Rory McIlroy is in favor of.

But after a rough few days at TPC Sawgrass, the four-time major champion likely wishes this year’s Players Championship was one of those events. For the first time in a long time, Rory will miss out on the final 36 holes, missing the cut line by three shots when he finished up his second round on Saturday morning.

McIlroy, who won The Players back in 2019, essentially took himself out of the tournament immediately, making a double-bogey on his first hole of Thursday’s first round. He got one shot back on the next hole but made just one other birdie the rest of the way while making four bogeys en route to a 4-over 76.

He was 2-over for his round after 11 holes when play was suspended on Friday and made six pars and one birdie on Saturday morning to finish at 5-over for the week. Only 37 players were below him on the leaderboard when the second round ended, not including world No. 1 Jon Rahm, who withdrew ahead of the second round with a stomach illness.

While some will make a big deal of McIlroy missing the rest of the weekend, it’s not as if he was the only big name to miss the cut, a list that includes reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and last week’s winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Kurt Kitayama, among others. It would have been even more had the cut line not moved from 1-over to 2-over on Saturday.

But that’s just what TPC Sawgrass does.

While not that big of a deal, it will be a bit different not to see the current world No. 3 in contention as he’s been a part of the story in just about every tournament he’s played for months.

So exactly when was the last time Rory McIlroy missed a cut?

When was the last time Rory McIlroy missed a cut?

Rory McIlroy during the second round of the 2023 Players Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits to tee off on the 12th tee during the completion of the weather-delayed second round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on March 11, 2023 | David Cannon/Getty Images

Here’s how dominant McIlroy has been recently. In his last 11 worldwide starts before The Players, Rory finished fourth or better eight times, a stretch that included three wins and a pair of second-place finishes.

And why did I choose 11 starts? Because that’s how many tournaments he’s played since his last missed cut, which came at last year’s FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Rory opened his week at TPC Southwind with an even-par round of 70 and followed it up with a 1-under 69. But 1-under over two days wasn’t good enough as he missed the weekend by a stroke. Will Zalatoris, of course, won that week by defeating Sepp Straka in a playoff.

But the missed cut didn’t end up mattering to McIlroy, minus the missed paycheck anyway. He still easily made it into the BMW Championship, where he tied for eighth, and then won the Tour Championship at East Lake, taking the $18 million prize that goes along with it.

Up next for Rory McIlroy would seemingly be the WGC-Match Play event, which will likely be his only start between The Players and The Masters, which remains the only major championship he needs to win to complete the career Grand Slam.


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