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No.1 McIlroy misses the cut as Kiwi Campbell leads in Hong Kong

November 16, 2012 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
Rory McIlroy struggled to find his best form during the second round of the Hong Kong Open.
Rory McIlroy struggled to find his best form during the second round of the Hong Kong Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defending champion Rory McIlroy misses cut at $2 million Hong Kong Open
  • McIlroy shoots a two-over 72 for 145 -- five over par at Fanling
  • No.1 McIlroy has clinched money list prize on PGA and European Tours
  • New Zealand veteran Michael Campbell leads the way on nine-under

(CNN) -- World No.1 Rory McIlroy missed the cut in his defense of the Hong Kong Open title after carding a two-over-par 72 in the second round at Fanling Friday.

It left the Northern Irish star on five-over 145 and heading home early in a rare setback in a triumphant 2012 which has seen him clinch the money list prizes on both the European and PGA Tours.

New Zealander Michael Campbell leads the way at halfway, the 43-year-old continuing his revival with a second round 64 for 131 -- nine-under-par.

Campbell reacted to McIlroy's departure with a light-hearted quip: "That makes it a lot easier for the rest of the field!," he told the official European Tour website.

It was not the week I wanted but now I have got a few days to work on a few things and head to Dubai
Rory McIlroy

The former U.S. Open champion has endured a torrid last few years, but a third-place finish at the recent Portugal Masters hinted at a revival.

He is one ahead of two-time winner Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, China's Zhang Lian-wei and Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed, the top four all 40 years of age or older.

Young gun McIlroy clinched the Race to Dubai in Europe last week but after a first round 73 was always struggling.

He made a good start to his second round, "I was only four off the lead at one point," he said before the shots started frittering away.

A double bogey on his final hole, four-putting the green, sealed his fate with the cut at two over.

"It was not the week I wanted but now I have got a few days to work on a few things and head to Dubai," he told gathered reporters after his round.

The concluding event of the 2012 season is the $8 million Race to Dubai which starts in the emirate next Thursday.

Meanwhile, Swede Henrik Stenson leads at halfway in the South African Open, a co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour event, after a 65 for 13-under 131.

Stenson is currently 59th in the Race to Dubai, with only the top 60 qualifying for the final event of the season.

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