Published Saturday, 12 April 2014
McIlroy hits a shot out of the azaleas bushes behind the 13th green. (© Getty)
McIlroy did not realise he had to par the last to make the halfway cut on the mark of four over par, but held his nerve from four feet to complete a disappointing 77.
The Holywood man visited some seldom-seen parts of the course on the 10th and 13th, the latter after his ball hit a sprinkler and bounded into the azaleas which give the hole its name.
A total of 51 players - 50 professionals and Australian amateur Oliver Goss - qualified for the last two rounds.
Fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke also made the cut after a second successive 74 to leave him on four over.
McIlroy is the first man out on Saturday, most likely playing with club member Jeff Knox as his marker.
"I just want to go out there and try to get off to a fast start," McIlroy said.
"Eleven shots back (of leader Bubba Watson) 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.
He added: "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."
Three-time winner Phil Mickelson missed the cut by a shot to make an early exit for the first time since 1997.
Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel also missed out by a shot.
© UTV News