The Open: Sheffield’s Willet misses his first cut of the year

Danny Willett on the 4th green during day two of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Danny Willett on the 4th green during day two of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
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Danny Willett’s record of making every cut of the year came to an end as he crashed out of The Open at Royal Liverpool.

As with his opening round, Willett teed off at the height of the day’s worst conditions at the Hoylake venue and failed to stay afloat.

The Sheffield golfer could only sit back and watch through the afternoon, hoping plenty of other players had a similarly difficult day in order to push the cut higher.

While there were few serious charges on day two, plenty hovered around par which dashed Willett’s hopes.

The 26-year-old had previously only failed to complete the full four days of a tournament twice in 2014, both due to injury which forced him to withdraw after the opening round.

After the first half dozen holes on Friday, Willett did not appear to be in too bad a position, despite the difficult conditions he had endured on Thursday afternoon carrying over to the following morning.

He bogeyed the first but followed with three straight pars before a birdie three on the fifth.

But successive bogeys on seven and eight pushed him out to +4 for the tournament.

On a back nine when the 26-year-old really needed to make inroads, he was little more than steady.

Willett bogeyed the 12th but took that shot back with a birdie three on the 17th. He carded a two over par 74 to finish the second day on +4.

Worksop’s Lee Westwood hunt for a first Major triumph rumbles on after he shot a four over par round of 76 to finish day two on +3.

Westwood made just one birdie in his round and suffered a double bogey on the eighth as his hopes were ended.

Rory McIlroy, who has a habit of following up good rounds on Thursday with disappointment the following day exorcised his Friday demons in style, carding a second consecutive 66 to finish 12 under par.

It is the first time McIlroy has led at halfway in a major since the 2011 US Open, when he went on to win his first major by eight shots.