Rory McIlroy continued his slow start in Egypt with a second-round 74 at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club.

The Ryder Cup star, who is used to competing in far stronger company on the European Tour, is currently playing on the Challenge Tour to help promote the Egyptian Open.

The Northern Irishman struggled yesterday with a poor display on the front nine and admitted his game was not up to scratch.

“The first nine holes were probably the worst nine holes I have played all year. I hit two fairways and three greens which tells the story really.”

McIlroy, 21, would have hoped to climb the leaderboard during round two but three bogeys and a lone birdie left him half way down the field on one-over-par, just inside the cut line.