After introducing their new and much-hyped Nike commercial, Tiger Woods, golfest greatest draw, and Rory McIlroy, who just recently signed the most lucrative golf contract in history, promptly both missed the first cut of the season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Woods and McIlroy were paired together, and Woods just missed the cut due to a rules infraction, according to ESPN:
Unknown to those following, European Tour rules officials had assessed him two strokes for an infraction earlier in the round. His tee shot on the par-4 fifth hole had sailed right of the fairway and Woods discovered it embedded. He consulted another player in the group, Martin Kaymer, who agreed it was embedded; that means a free drop.
According to Woods, European Tour rules official Andy McPhee told him that it was a sandy area, not entitled to such relief. Woods was told of the penalty on the 11th hole and his score on the fifth went from a 5 to a 7.
Woods finished at +3, missing the cut (+2) by one stroke. McIlroy finished at +6. This was the first time Woods has missed a cut at a European Tour event.
McIlroy was using Nike equipment for the first time. Woods had also struggled the first time he started to use Nike golf equipment. Woods and McIlroy, who is ranked No. 1, are the world’s top-ranked golfers.