Rory McIlroy blew up on his back nine as he joined a litany of big names to miss the cut at the US Open.
The four-time Major champion looked set for a title challenge as he blazed through the outward part of his second round at Oakmont in just 31 shots as he bid to rectify an opening 77.
But any thoughts he may have had of matching Johnny Miller’s record US Open round of 63 were ended when he four-putted the 3rd.
It stopped him in his tracks.
When a bogey at the 6th put him at risk, his destiny was sealed when he missed the fairway at his final hole – the 9th – and later struck the lip of a bunker on his way to a double bogey 6, a back 9 of 40, and a round of 71.
That left him two adrift of the cut line, which fell at six over. It was his first missed cut in a Major since the Open in 2013.
McIlroy’s struggles as Oakmont started to bear its teeth were far from unique.
Mickelson had expected seven over to be enough to get in when he completed his second round, but he will now have to wait another year to try and complete the Grand Slam of Majors following his two efforts of 74 and 73.
Fears about the preparation of Justin Rose, who had struggled with a back injury in the run up to Oakmont, were proved correct.
The winner at Merion in 2013 finished on eight over par following a second round 76.
Rickie Fowler (+11), Ernie Els (+10), Retief Goosen (+10), Webb Simpson (+11) and Hideki Matsuyami (+12) were among other top names to go out at the half-way point.
Paul Casey and Luke Donald (both +8), along with Brandt Snedeker (+11), are also on the plane home.