Rory McIlroy and amateur James Sugrue both fell agonisingly short of making the halfway cut of one-under-pay at The Open Championship in Royal Portrush.

It was always going to be an uphill battle for McIlroy to make it to the weekend given his disastrous first round but he raised hopes of making the cut when he rattled in a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th.

His hopes took a setback when he bogeyed the 13th after failing to get up and down from a bunker.

However, the former world number one was not about to throw in the towel in front of his home fans and a birdie on the 14th got him back to three over.

That was two shots outside the projected cut, but it would take only a handful of mistakes from players on one over for it to change to two over. 

McIlroy's birdie attempt on the 17th never threatened the hole and left him needing to make a three on the last, but after splitting the fairway the 30-year-old pulled his approach left of the green.

From there he chipped to five feet and holed out for par and a superb 65 before receiving a standing ovation from the partisan crowd, but he would miss the cut by a shot. 

Cork's Sugrue acquitted himself credibly over the two days but also misses out on the cut. 

Sugrue, who became the first Irishman to win the Amateur Championship in fourteen years at Portmarnock last month, carded a 73 to follow his opening day's 71, leaving himself at two over par. 

It could have been more straightforward for Sugrue who was in a healthy position around the turn, birdies at the 3rd and 8th helping him to an outward nine of 35, the par-3 6th delivering his only dropped stroke. 

A bogey at 11 was cancelled out by a birdie at 12 and he remained under par for the championship. However, a horrible triple bogey at 14, playing the most difficult hole of the day, scarred an otherwise solid card and leaves his Saturday plans in doubt. He steadied things to par his way home on the tricky closing stretch.

James Sugrue needs players to drop strokes down the field to make the cut for the weekend

Graeme McDowell will stick around for the weekend after he produced a round of 66 to see him move to one-over-par and just inside the projected cut.

The 2010 US Open champion birdied the 1st and the 6th, giving back a stroke on the 4th for an outward nine of 35. A birdie on the 12th was cancelled out by a bogey on the 14th but he did just enough to ensure he'll being in action at Portrush over the weekend.. 

Local favourite Darren Clarke also missed out. Clarke, the 2011 Open winner who owns a house overlooking the course, played the first 17 holes in even par, three birdies being cancelled out by three bogeys. 

On the 36th, however, he drove out of bounds and then proceeded to three putt the green for a triple bogey which ruined his chances of teeing off over the weekend at his home Open, leaving him on three-over. 

Padraig Harrington was also destined to miss the cut despite a decent showing on Friday. The two-time champion had given himself a chance with a outward nine of 34, including birdies at 2, 6 and 7. A pair of bogeys rocked him at 13 and 14 but a birdie at the 15th got him back to three over par.

However, he failed to register a birdie on the closing holes and wound up the wrong side of the cut line, a second round of 70 leaving him at three over par for the tournament.