2012 U.S. Open: Defending Champion Rory McIlroy Misses Cut

Lost in the furor over Tiger Woods sitting atop the leaderboard at The Olympic Club on the second day of the 2012 U.S. Open on Friday and 17-year-old amateur Beau Hossler claiming a lead no amateur had since 1980 was the story of last year's defending champion. One year after ravaging Congressional in a record-breaking U.S. Open victory, Rory McIlroy is headed home after a missed cut.

McIlroy began his tournament with a first-round 77 that left him a full 11 shots off Michael Thompson's pace and in danger of missing the cut, but he had a chance to rally on Friday and keep his tournament alive. Instead, despite starting on the ninth hole and taking on the softer back nine first, McIlroy was unable to get in gear, making two bogeys before his first birdie and five in his first 10 holes.

Steadying his hand on the front nine -- McIlroy played the arduous first six holes in just 2-over on Friday, and birdied the seventh -- wasn't enough, though, as he three-putted the par-3 eighth to turn a birdie try into a bogey that left him with a 73 on Friday and a 10-over mark for the Open. Despite the cut dropping all day, it only reached 8-over; McIlroy's final flailing attempt on the green did him in, more than anything.

For all your news and updates in the run up to the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic, visit SB Nation's dedicated golf hub. Be sure to head over to USOpen.com for even more coverage from the event.

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