Graeme McDowell could miss the $9.4 million Players Championship after crashing out on his Ballantine’s Championship defence in South Korea.

TPC Sawgrass will host The Players from May 7-10The Ulsterman, 29, fears he will be bumped out of the world’s top 50 on Monday and out of the megabucks event at TPC Sawgrass after a second round 73 saw him miss the cut by four shots at Pinx GC on Jeju Island.

Resigned to a nervous wait to see if he will play the game's unofficial fifth major in two weeks', the world No 47 said: “I've got to be top 50 in the world on Monday so I've done myself no favours.

“Fingers crossed. It's not the end of the world and if the TPC doesn't happen I'll play in the Italian Open, so it’s one or the other."

Just three of the six-man Irish contingent made the cut with Gareth Maybin the best of the bunch, seven shots behind leader Robert-Jan Derksen on two-under par after a 72.

Peter Lawrie and Paul McGinley are ten behind after rounds of 75 and 72 left them on one-over.

But McDowell was joined on the plane home by Damien McGrane, who carded a nightmare 84 for the highest score of his European Tour career, and Clandeboye’s Jonny Caldwell, who had a 74.

McDowell was two-under for his second round with five holes to play before bogeys at the 14th, 17th and 18th smashed his slim hopes of making the cut in wet, blustery conditions.

He said: “Obviously it is not what I had in mind for my title defence this week. I played a little better but I just didn’t have it on the greens for the last two days.

“I really didn’t hit the golf ball terribly badly. I did the damage yesterday and made nothing on the greens, which surprised me.

“I think the greens staff had to keep the grass a little longer on them due to forecast for high winds and I struggled with the speed of them big time.

“I didn’t get a putt to the hole in two days and it just wasn’t the week I had in mind.”

McDowell took more than 50 hours to get to Pinx Golf Club from his Orlando base after high winds caused flight cancellations that left him stranded in Seoul on Monday.

He said: “I was hoping to get here on Monday and I felt a little under-prepared losing that day on Monday.

“Basically I didn’t hit a golf ball from leaving Orlando on Friday and getting here on Tuesday. I wasn’t really as prepared as I’d like to be and it kind of showed in my game.”