Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship in the United Arab Emirates Friday, a woeful start to the season for the world’s top two golfers.
Woods missed it after he was penalized two shots for wrongly taking a free drop, while top-ranked McIlroy was frustrated trying to adjust to his new Nike clubs, even though he used his old Titleist putter in the second round. Both finished with 3-over-par 75s.
Justin Rose shot a 69 for a 136 total and a one-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson (70), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67), and Thorbjorn Olesen (69).
Woods thought he was safe in finishing his second round at 73. But he was advised by European Tour chief referee Andy McFee of the penalty, giving him a 75 and 3-over total of 147. The cut for the top 60 plus ties was 2 over.
McFee warned Woods on the 11th tee of the penalty, which was a result of his taking a free drop when his ball was embedded in sand. It’s not allowed.
‘‘I called Martin [Kaymer] over to verify the ball was embedded. We both agreed it was embedded and evidently it was in sand,’’ Woods said of the infraction that happened when his drive on 5 landed in a bed of vines. ‘‘Andy ruled I broke an infraction, consequently got a two-shot penalty. Andy feels the way he feels about it and I broke the rules.’’
McFee said Woods didn’t challenge him on the ruling. It came to light when a spectator alerted officials to the infraction, he said. After the drop, a reporter heard some spectators questioning whether the drop was appropriate.
McIlroy posted a second straight 75 for a 6-over total of 150.
PGA — James Hahn and Roberto Castro remained atop the Humana Challenge leaderboard in La Quinta, Calif., both shooting 5-under 67 in the pro-am tournament.
Hahn and Castro were 14 under after another day of perfect conditions. Darron Stiles, Scott Stallings, and Richard H. Lee were 13 under, all shooting 65.
Phil Mickelson shot a 67 on the Nicklaus course after opening with a 72 at La Quinta.
Champions — David Frost had a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Kirk Triplett bogeyed the last hole to fall into a six-way tie for second. He shares that spot with Tom Kite, Willie Wood, John Cook, Fred Couples, and Tom Lehman.