July 19 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy missed the weekend cut at the British Open by only one stroke at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
McIlroy finished two-over for the tournament despite shooting 6-under-65 on Friday. He needed a birdie on either the 17th or 18th hole to make the cut but couldn't follow through.
McIlroy, who is from Ireland and won The Open in 2014, admitted he was disappointed he failed to qualify. The British Open is at Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.
"I'm trying not to imagine what it was going to be like on a Sunday," said McIlroy, who shot 79 on Thursday. "It's a moment I have envisioned for the last few years; it just happened two days early."
McIlroy had a 2-under-34 on the front nine and recorded birdies on holes 10 through 12. He added birdies on holes 14 and 16 before falling short.
McIlroy almost made the cut after starting Friday 13 shots behind co-leader J.B. Holmes.
"I'm unbelievably proud of how I handled myself today, coming back from what was a very challenging day [on Thursday], and just full of gratitude to every single one of the people that followed me to the very end and was willing me on," McIlroy said.