Masters 2023: World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will miss the cut, Career Grand Slam will have to wait ... again

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his fourth shot on the second hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2023 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy reacts to his fourth shot on the second hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Masters continues to be Rory McIlroy’s kryptonite.

Fifteen times McIlroy has arrived at Augusta National with the hope of leaving with a green jacket and now 15 times he’s left empty handed. The world’s No. 2 ranked golfer and one of the betting favorites to win the 87th Masters won’t even make it to the weekend. After an even-par opening round, McIlroy blew up Friday, posting a 5-over 77. That pushed him well below the projected cut line and out of the tournament.

It's yet another devastating finish for the Northern Irishman, who needs only to win this tournament to become the sixth golfer to complete the Career Grand Slam. But since winning four majors between 2011-2014, McIlroy has yet to hoist another major trophy.

He has 17 top-10 finishes since the 2014 PGA Championship, including four last year alone, but a lot of those have come via the backdoor. In last year’s Masters, McIlroy fired a final round 64. Problem was he started the day 10 strokes back of eventual champion Scottie Scheffler. So despite shooting the lowest round of the entire tournament, McIlroy still finished second, three strokes back.

That’s a whole lot better than this year. Bogies on two of his first three holes — which include the par-5 second, a true birdie hole — set the tone for a miserable round. While Brooks Koepka was taking advantage of the gettable morning conditions, McIlroy was racking up bogey after bogey, sending him sliding down the leaderboard.

The capper came at 18, where he drove the ball into the trees on the right side, forcing him to punch out. Three shots later he carded his seventh bogey of the day, ending his 2023 Masters.

Next year will be the 10th time McIlroy arrives at Augusta National with a chance to join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player. And he’ll be asked for the millionth time how he feels about his chances.

“I feel like I am as good, if not better a player, as I was the last time I won a major championship,” he said Tuesday when asked that exact question. “So I'm feeling pretty good about it.”

That was Tuesday. By Friday he was heading home and will have to wait a year for another crack at it.