Rory McIlroy will watch the rest of the US PGA Championship 2016, a major that he won two years ago, from the sidelines. As player after player, unheralded and well-known, brought their putting game to the fore, McIlroy's stayed back home in Ireland, and with it causing the world number four to miss the cut at Baltusrol in New Jersey on Friday.
As Jimmy Walker was joined at the top of the leaderboard by fellow American Robert Streb, McIlroy's wait for a fifth major title continued, two years after he won the US PGA Championship. McIlroy shot a 69 in the second round, after a first round 74, but a bogey on the 18th put paid to his hopes of continuing in the tournament, with the Irishman finishing his two rounds on three-over, a shot outside the cut limit. India's Anirban Lahiri also missed the cut, after shooting identical 73s in the first two rounds, to finish on a total of 146, four shots off the cut mark.
"Putting let me down at [the US Open at] Oakmont and then putting let me down here again," McIlroy, who made a total of 65 putts over the two rounds, said. "My tee to green game, there's not much wrong with that. It's pretty solid. I'm driving the ball well, hitting good iron shots.
"I think if you had given anyone else in this field my tee shots this week, they would have been up near the top of the leaderboard. It just shows you how bad I was around the greens.
"I've hit the ball really well this week and I'm walking away not playing the weekend. It's really disheartening. I need to go back to the drawing board and see where we go from here. I just need to do a lot of work."
The work done by Walker so far is as good as they come, with the American really contending in a major for the first time in his career, after following up his opening round 65 with a second round 66. That puts him on nine-under for the tournament, and he will be joined by another player yet to make an impact at the business end of a major in Streb. The American joined the ever-increasing list of players shooting 63 in a major tournament, with a superlative second round, which gives him the chance to create history.
The defending champion Jason Day, however, is the man to watch, with the Australian and world number one just two shots off the leaders after a wonderful 65 in the second round for a total of 133. The talented Argentine Emiliano Grillo is also on seven-under
Jordan Spieth, after an iffy first round, is back in contention, after a 67 put him on three-under for the tournament, six shots behind the leaders, with Phil Mickelson, just about making the cut after overcoming a disastrous start to his second round, where he made a triple bogey.