IRISH OPEN: Back-to-back title hopes for Rory McIlroy gone after second day at Portstewart

Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm walking along the 18th fairway during round 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open golf championship at Portstewart Golf Club
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm walking along the 18th fairway during round 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open golf championship at Portstewart Golf Club

Defending champion Rory McIlroy was in danger of failing to make the cut at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart.

Host of the event through the Rory Foundation, McIlroy failed to make any headway after shooting a level par first round on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 17th hole during Day 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Portstewart Golf Club

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 17th hole during Day 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship at Portstewart Golf Club

McIlroy got to two under at one stage during his second round on Friday, rain and wind had made it a difficult morning for the early starters.

But he fell away and a goey on the sixth, his 15th and a double bogey on his penultimate hole left him on one over.

That left him 14 shots by clubhouse leader, Daniel Kim, on 13 under, with McIlroy’s partner Jo9n Rham on 12-under along with Benjamin Hebert.

McIlroy missed the cut when the Irish Open was last staged in Northern Ireland at Royal County Down in 2015.