OAKMONT, Pa. -- After a strong start to his second round that saw him threaten to get back into contention, Rory McIlroy went the other way Saturday during the second round of the U.S. Open, missing the cut by two strokes after he double-bogeyed his final hole.
McIlroy, ranked third in the world, followed a first-round 77 with a 71 to finish at 148. After missing the cut in a major championship for the first time since the 2013 Open at Muirfield, McIlroy declined to speak with reporters. His next start is scheduled to be the French Open in two weeks.
There were 67 players who made the cut at 146, which was 6 over par.
Among the others who missed were Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, who are part of a dubious distinction: They are the only current players among the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking to have missed the cut at the Masters, Players Championship and U.S. Open.
Mickelson finished his second round Saturday morning with two pars and figured he would make it on the number at 7 over par.
"It as challenging, but I think it's a real tribute to the course and the setup and the U.S. Open challenge of how you have a discrepancy in the scores, where there were holes could you could make birdie, and you saw guys shoot under par," Mickelson said. "I felt like it was a very fair setup. If you played well, there were pins you could get to. You could make some birdies. There were some very challenging pars."
Mickelson said before the tournament that he considered this a good opportunity to win his first U.S. Open following six runner-up finishes. It turned out to be just his third missed cut in 26 appearances.
Fowler, after winning in Abu Dhabi earlier this year to move to No. 4 in the world, has been in a rut and struggled to regain the form that saw him finish top 5 in all four majors in 2014.
"Just confidence and going out and making good swings off tees," said Fowler, who missed the cut by five strokes with rounds of 76-75. "You've got to drive it well. That's something I did really well in '14, is I put the ball in play and I didn't put myself in trouble. That's probably been one of the biggest things, that and not making as many putts."