Zurich Classic: Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson miss the cut in early exit as Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith lead

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were among the big-name casualties at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans after missing the cut – despite finishing the second round on six under par.

Having been six shots off the leaders after a level-par 72 in Thursday’s opening day foursomes, the Ryder Cup team-mates were battling to stay in the two-man competition during Friday’s fourballs.

They signed off for a creditable six-under-par 66, but on a day of low scoring that was not enough to get them into the weekend as the cut was made at seven under.

England’s Rose and Stenson of Sweden needed a birdie on the final hole to avoid an early exit but the two major winners both found the water.

Rose said of their failures on the last: “Actually summed up the week…. Disappointing.”

Stenson added on http://www.pgatour.com: “You want to be in the hole with two chances as much as possible. At times we didn’t live up to that. We left each other hanging on a few occasions.”

Players had to negotiate a number of alligators around the course (AP)

They were not the only stars to miss out, though, with the pairing of Jason Day and Rickie Fowler also heading home early as the tournament lost four of the world’s top 10 ranked players.

“If it was a normal event, we would’ve (each) made the cut,” Fowler said

“Not saying it would’ve been impressive by any means. We wouldn’t exactly have been in contention. It was just that we couldn’t get the both of us going. It wasn’t like we played bad golf. We just didn’t make enough birdies.”

At the top of the leaderboard, Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith of Australia boast a one-shot lead at the midway point of the competition – the first official team event on the PGA Tour since 1981.

The duo combined to shoot a 10-under-par round of 62 in the fourballs – both Blixt and Smith had an eagle and three birdies each – and leave them on 15 under.

American pair Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay are in second spot on 14 under after also…

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