Graeme McDowell is projected to fall from 28th to 45th in the FedEx Cup rankings after missing the cut in The Barclays. But Rory McIlroy can still make a final round charge for the title despite another round sprinkled with errors.
As McDowell completed his second round in one over 72 to miss the cut by the narrowest of margins, McIlroy birdied his final hole for a six under 65 but then shot a level par 71 in the afternoon to finish the day six shots behind leaders Gary Woodland (68) and Matt Kuchar (70) at Liberty National.
McIlroy looks close to regaining his best form but continues to fritter away shots. In three rounds he has had an eagle and 15 birdies but also added five bogeys to three opening day double bogeys.
Kuchar has made 18 birdies but just six bogeys and no doubles to remain on course for a third win of the season that would catapult him to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings.
McIlroy missed an early birdie chance at the first and dropped a shot at the third after a pulled drive before getting up and down from close range for birdie at the par-five sixth.
He handed that shot straight back at the par-five eighth when he found sand with his second and another bunker with his third before taking three more to get up and down.
The world No 3 made a sensational birdie at the 10th, hitting a 219-yard approach to little more than two feet to get back to level for the day. But he then hit a poor chip and failed to birdie the par-five 13th and followed an easy, chip and putt birdie at the driveable 16th with a bogey at the 17th.
This time he again found trouble left off the tee - a fairway bunker. Forced to chip just 52 yards down the fairay, he had 103 yards for his third but missed a 15 footer for par there before misreading a 12 foot birdie chance at the last.
Despite that he’s still just two shots outside the top-four.
Kuchar and Woodland lead by one from Kevin Chappell, who carded a course record 62 to get to 11 under with Tiger Woods, struggling with a back injury, tied for fourth with England’s David Lynn, four shots off the pace on eight under, thanks to a birdie at the 18th.
As for McDowell, he was two under for the tournament with 10 holes of his second round remaining on Friday night but double bogeyed the 18th, his ninth, and then found water in two at the par-five sixth before play was suspended due to darkness.
He came back out on Saturday morning but failed to get up and down for par and then missed birdie chances inside 12 feet at his last two holes that would have got him in for the last two rounds.