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Golf: Matsuyama joins big names in missing cut at British Open

Hideki Matsuyama misses the halfway cut at the British Open on July 19, 2019, finishing 3-over following the first two rounds at Royal Portrush. (Kyodo)

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (Kyodo) -- Hideki Matsuyama missed the cut at the British Open, finishing 3-over after an inconsistent Friday round at Royal Portrush.

American J.B. Holmes and Ireland's Shane Lowry lead the tournament at 8-under, one stroke ahead of Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood.

Some big names are lurking not far behind, however.

American Brooks Koepka, the recent PGA Championship winner and world No. 1, is three shots off the lead, one behind England's 2018 Fed-Ex Cup champion Justin Rose. Current Fed-Ex Cup leader Matt Kuchar is also in the hunt at 4-under.

A day after carding an even-par 71, Matsuyama made a nightmare start to round two with a triple-bogey on the par-4 opening hole.

The world No. 29 bounced back with birdies on the second and seventh holes to finish the front nine 1-over, but bogies on the 10th and 11th put him in a difficult position with seven holes to play.

Matsuyama birdied the par-3 13th, but another bogey on the following hole killed any momentum and saw him eventually finish with 74, two shots outside the cut.

"I felt I still had a chance if I could forget about the triple bogey and string together four or five birdies. The bogies on 10 and 11 hurt," Matsuyama said.

Yuki Inamori and Yosuke Asaji were the best of the Japanese, both at 1-over going into the weekend and in a tie for 58th. Inamori followed a 1-under 70 with a 73, while Asaji carded a 72 and a 71.

Local favorite Rory McIlroy narrowly missed the cut, fighting back from a shocking opening round of 79 to card the equal-best second-round score of 65.

The Northern Irishman was joined by fellow multiple major-winners Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in exiting at the halfway point.

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