But it soon became clear that there were birdies to be had on some enticing pin positions with a host of players enjoying strong rounds.
Bernd Wiesberger set the early pace with an outstanding round of 66 to move him up to four-under par for the tournament.
Tony Finau also finished with a six-under par round on Friday while the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Marc Leishman climbed up the leaderboard.
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Hudson Swafford finished 11-over par on Friday while Brooks Koepka was unable to improve on his opening round as he finished five-over par.
All eyes were on McIlroy though to see whether he was going to be able to improve on his four-over par round on Thursday.
It wasn’t looking good for the three-time major champion though as he soon moved to eight-over par with a double bogey at the 10th.
Birdies at the 13th and 15th gave him an outside chance of making the cut, but it ultimately proved too little too late.