ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship on 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 75s.
"When you don't hit fairways on this golf course, you can't score," McIlroy said.
Justin Rose played solid, mistake-free golf. Away from the large galleries, the Englishman shot a 69 for a 136 total and a one-shot lead at the halfway point over Jamie Donaldson (70) of Wales , Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67) of Spain and Thorbjorn Olesen (69) of Denmark .
Woods and McIlroy were expected to contend for the lead but often looked like weekend golfers. Their struggles captivated the crowds and their departure means it is the first time the world's top two players missed a cut in the same tournament since McIlroy and Luke Donald at the 2012 U.S. Open. The last time in a regular tournament came in 2005 by Woods and Vijay Singh at Disney World.
"I didn't hit it particularly well. I putted great but just didn't hit it very good. I was struggling with that," Woods said. "I have some work to do, and next week I'm playing at Torrey (in San Diego), and obviously it will be different weather there, so going to go back and get ready."
Woods thought he was safe in finishing his second round at 73. But he was advised by the 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 said he 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.
At La Quinta, Calif., James Hahn jumped all over his drive on the par-5 fifth hole at La Quinta Country Club, then hit his second shot so pure that it went a little father than he wanted.
Undaunted, he turned to his trusty 54-degree wedge and holed a 30-foot, bump-and-run chip for eagle, part of a late birdie-eagle-birdie run that gave him a share of the second-round lead.
Hahn finished with a 5-under 67 to match Roberto Castro at 14 under after another day of perfect conditions in the Coachella Valley. Castro shot a 67 on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course after they began the round tied for the lead with Jason Kokrak at 63.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship
At Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii, David Frost of South Africa had a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
The tournament opens the 34th Champions Tour season at Hualalai Golf Club.