(CNN) -- Slumping World No.2 Rory McIlroy and defending champion Luke Donald will not be contesting the weekend action at the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth.
With organizers still reeling from the controversy surrounding Sergio Garcia's "fried chicken" jibe, the star attractions comfortably failed to make the halfway cut Friday at the PGA Championship.
McIlroy 2013 travails continued as he followed a first round 74 with a 75 to finish on five-over 149 -- three outside the qualification mark.
McIlroy's Northern Ireland colleague Graeme McDowell, who is leading the European Tour's Race to Dubai, finished on the same mark, while Donald, who went to No.1 in the rankings last season with his second straight title at the tournament, was a further shot adrift.
Donald, who was on antibiotics, may have had an excuse in the freezing wet conditions on the West Course, and battled to a level-par 72 in his second round after a sorry 78 on the first day.
But McIlroy, who came into the $6 million event saying he was pleased with his game, could offer little in the way of explanation for his poor showing.
"I didn't play particularly well today," he told Sky Sports.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to some golf without four layers. Sometimes when the weather is bad I try to do too much with the ball and hit some bad shots."
Standing four-over on the par-five17th, the U.S. PGA champion needed a birdie or better to get stand a chance of making the final two rounds. A wayward tee shot into the trees led to a double bogey seven and his chances were over.
Garcia fared better and remained in contention after a battling 71 for one-under 143, but trails halfway leader Francesco Molinari of Italy by five shots.
Molinari's superb four-under 68 in testing conditions has left the Italian Ryder Cup star one shot clear of South Africa's George Coetzee, Scotland's Marc Warren, Mark Foster of England and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares.
London-based Molinari said he had adapted to the inclement British weather.
"Six under is a good score given the conditions - I live over here now so I am used to it - and I'm in a great position going into the weekend," he told the official European Tour website.
"But it's a really tough course so anyone six or seven behind is still in it."
Other star attractions Lee Westwood and British Open champion Ernie Els were firmly in the picture on three under, the former showing his improved short game around the green on his way to a battling 71.
The crowds were also delighted as the oldest man in the event, the ever popular Spanard Miguel Angel Jimenez, made three birdies in the last four holes to finish on one-over 145.
European Ryder Cup captains past and present, Colin Montgomerie, Jose-Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley, who takes charge of the team at Gleneagles next year, also survived for the weekend when the weather forecast is more favorable.