Rory McIlroy agonisingly missed the cut at his home Open as Ireland’s Shane Lowry produced a four-under-par 67 to take a share of the lead.
McIlroy’s 79 on Thursday left him eight shots shy of the cut at one over, and he almost achieved his feat but failed to pick up a birdie at the last.
Lowry, 32, is on eight under alongside USA’s JB Holmes, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood a shot back.
Another Englishman, Justin Rose, is on six under after a 67 at Royal Portrush.
World number one Brooks Koepka and 2017 Open champion Jordan Spieth are a shot further back on five under, but former winners Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Darren Clarke all missed the cut.
It is the first time both Woods and Mickelson have gone out of the same major after the first two rounds.
The crowd following McIlroy around the County Antrim course began to grow in size as he sank birdie after birdie on the inward nine.
By the 18th the cheer that greeted the 2014 champion was as if he was going for his second title rather than a mission to make the cut.
However, his hopes faded with his approach to the green as the wind took the ball down the bank. The following chip landed wide and ended the 30-year-old’s hopes of winning a major on home soil.
“Part of me is very disappointed not to be here for the weekend. I’m emotional but happy with how I played,” said McIlroy.
“The support I got out there was incredible and you could see on the back nine, I went with it today and that’s what I was planning to do all week.