By Matt Smith
Following the agony of missing out on his first major in eight years at the Open Championship last month, the pain continued on Friday for Rory McIlroy as he missed the cut at the first PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs event in Memphis.

The world No. 3 missed his par on the final hole, meaning he fell the wrong side of the cut line by one stroke at the FedEx St Jude Championship in Memphis. Other big names who are missing the weekend at the St Jude include world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Billy Horschel.

This was McIlroy’s first tournament since he came up short at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, finishing third behind Cameron Smith and Cameron Young.

American JJ Spaun leads on 11-under at TPC Southwind after two rounds, but McIlroy — who has become something of a PGA Tour flag-waver in the fallout of the feud with LIV Golf and the players who have opted to sign up for the new circuit — will have to watch from the sidelines to see where he will be in the playoff rankings for next week’s BMW Championship in Delaware.

This week, a court in California upheld a PGA Tour ban on three LIV Golfers — Hudson Swafford, Talor Gooch and Matt Jones — that prevented them from competing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a ruling McIlroy welcomed, saying “common sense had prevailed”.

If he is to prevail and win his third FedEx Cup, now he will have to do it the hard way over the next two weeks.

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