ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday, a woeful start to the season for the world’s top two golfers.
Woods, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, missed it after he was penalized two shots for wrongly taking a free drop, while top-ranked McIlroy was frustrated trying to adjust to his new Nike clubs, even though he used his old Titleist putter in the second round. Woods shot 72-75–147 to miss the cut by a shot. McIlroy had 75-75–150.
“When you don’t hit fairways on this golf course, you can’t score,” McIlroy said.
Also missing the cut was Scott Jamieson, the former Augusta State golfer. Jamieson, who finished second in last week’s European Tour event, shot 75-74–149.
Justin Rose played solid, mistake-free golf. Away from the large galleries, he shot 69 for a 136 total and a one-shot lead at the halfway point over Jamie Donaldson (70) , Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67) and Thorbjorn Olesen (69) .
Woods and McIlroy were expected to contend for the lead but often looked like weekend golfers.
European Tour chief referee Andy McFee said he warned Woods on the 11th tee of the penalty, which was a result of his taking a free drop on the fifth hole when his ball was embedded in sand. It’s not allowed.
McFee said Woods didn’t challenge him on the ruling. It came to light when a spectator alerted the European Tour to the infraction, he said. After the drop, a reporter heard some spectators questioning whether the drop was appropriate.
HUMANA CHALLENGE: In La Quinta, Calif., James Hahn and former Georgia Tech golfer Roberto Castro remained atop the leaderboard, shooting 5-under-par 67 in the second round.
Hahn and Castro are 14-under 130. They began the round tied for the lead with Jason Kokrak at 63. Kokrak had 69 on Friday and is at 12-under.
Castro had the lead alone, but bogeyed two of his last three holes – three-putting the par-4 ninth – on PGA West’s Arnold Palmer Private Course.
Darron Stiles, Scott Stallings and Richard H. Lee were 13 under, all shooting 65. Stiles and Stallings played at La Quinta, and Lee was on the Palmer course.
MITSUBISHI CHAMPIONSHIP: In Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii, South Africa’s David Frost shot 7-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead in the season-opening Champions Tour event.
Frost, who had an eagle and six birdies against one bogey, leads a who’s-who’s group by one shot.
Six players had 66, including Fred Couples. He was joined by Tom Lehman, Tom Kite, Kirk Triplett, Willie Wood and John Cook.
Golfers are 67 were John Huston, Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry.