Rory McIroy’s US Masters dream ended in tears of agony when food poisoning forced him to pull out of the British Amateur Championship.
The Holywood star, 17, ended up on his knees and doubled up in pain during the second qualifying round at Prince’s Golf Club near Sandwich.
After successfully defending his West of Ireland and Irish Close titles already this year, McIlroy had put in a huge amount of preparation to win the Amateur and earn a priceless invite to Augusta next year.
He was already feeling under the weather during a first round 78 at Royal St George’s but battled on for 12 holes at nearby Prince’s before his father Gerry found him in tears.
Doubling as caddie, Gerry said: “I walked ahead on the 12th green to get a yardage and when I turned back I found Rory kneeling on the ground, crying and doubled up in pain.
“He was more angry than anything else because he had put so much into his preparation for this. My heart went out to him. I tried to get him to come off the course after three holes but he kept on going.
“The R&A were very concerned about him and I took him back to bed in his hotel and I’m sure he’ll be fine soon. But he’s really disappointed”
McIlroy crashed to a seven over par 78 in the first qualifying round at Royal St George’s on Monday and needed a solid second round to make the matchplay stages.
Dad Gerry added: “I knew there was something up yesterday because he was very lethargic and red in the face. Then this morning he just felt terrible but insisted in going on.
“He was actually going quite well today and I reckon he needed to finish with six pars to make the cut.”
Limerick’s Cian McNamara had one birdie and seven bogeys in a six over par 78 at Prince’s to finish on 152.
But Warrenpoint’s Jim Carvill was heading back to Ulster after a 78 at Royal St George’s.
An eagle three at the seventh put him in with a shout of making the cut but he double bogeyed the next and followed that with seven back nine bogeys to finish on 153.
Pat Murray hit a 79 at Prince’s to finish well outside the cut mark on 156.
The Kinsale native, playing out of Limerick, recovered from a double bogey at the first with birdies at the next two holes.
But after opening with a 77, his chances of making the cut disappeared with a triple bogey seven at the sixth in an outward nine of 40.
Former Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne centre forward Stephen Grant was another Irish casualty after an 80 at Royal St George’s.
The Birr man finished on 157 alongside West Waterford’s Seamus Power, who bounced back from his opening 84 with a fine 73 at Prince’s.
Esker Hills’ Shane Lowry also failed to make it through after an 82 at Royal St George’s left him on 15 over par 158.