Tiger Woods needed a birdie on the final hole to make the cut with a second round 77 at Royal Liverpool.
The 14-time major winner, who won at Hoylake in 2006, started the day three-under-par but dropped three shots in his first two holes.
After picking up 14 straight pars, Woods drove out of bounds on the 17th, resulting in a triple-bogey.
But he came up with a four on the par five 18th to draw level with the two over cut mark.
Having trailed Rory McIlroy by three shots after day one, Woods heads into the weekend 14 shots behind the Northern Irishman.
"I didn't hit the driver very good today," said Woods, who missed the cut in his last event, last month's Quicken Loans National, but has never missed two in a row.
"It was not a very good round. I got off to a terrible start again. I had some opportunities to get back to even par for the day but I just never did, I never made anything.
Woods, 38, did not publicly concede defeat in his bid to catch McIlroy but admitted it would take a remarkable turnaround for him to get anywhere near his rival.
"Luckily I have two rounds to go and maybe I can do something like Paul Lawrie did in 1999 and make up 10 shots in one day," said Woods.
"It is not a surprise what Rory is doing. He's won both of his majors by eight shots so when he gets going he can make a lot of birdies."
US Masters champion Bubba Watson could not wait to get back to Florida after a second-round 72 meant he missed the cut by two shots.
And the 35-year-old took a parting shot at his critics before leaving Hoylake.
"Some coverage is no fun to watch," he explained. "I hate the negative comments.
"I'm trying to stay away from the negative and be positive. As long as my wife loves me and my child thinks daddy is the greatest then I'm good to go."