McIlroy confident of finding form

Aaron Brown
July 15, 2017

McIlroy had nothing to say afterwards and maybe that was a good thing.

McIlroy had two separate periods out this year with a rib injury before missing the cut at two of his last three events — the U.S. Open at Erin Hills last month and then at last week's Irish Open when he said his short game was not sharp enough.

McIlroy's last appearance at the Scottish Open in 2014 was pivotal, as he won The Open Championship the week after at Royal Liverpool.

"I enjoy playing the week before the majors just to get myself ready to go, check off some boxes".

McIlroy had crashed early to be four-over par after just four holes on route to an eventual two over-par 74 on the Dundonald Links course near Irvine.

Starting from the tenth, Ilonen birdied the 14th and 15th before catching first after the turn. 3 and 5, both par fives, and got into red figures for the first time this week with a close-range birdie at No. 7.

And his form shows no sign of improving after a hard opening day in Troon, the four-time major victor ending Thursday two over par, nine strokes behind leader Ilonen, who carded a blemish-free seven-under 65. 1-6 and was delighted that a decision to use a new set of irons this week paid off.

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Ireland's Padraig Harrington, German Alexander Knappe and England's Callum Shinkwin shared the lead on nine under par after two rounds of the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links on Friday.

Harrington called his par at No. 16 a "minor miracle", having thought he'd lost his ball off the tee.

Adam Scott swells the regular ranks of Australians on the European Tour this week when he tees up at the Scottish Open as part of his final preparations for The Open Championship.

The four-time major victor had not missed successive cuts since May 2015 and briefly looked on course to survive after three birdies in an unblemished front nine.

Of his seven birdies this week, five of them came on par fives.

Should McIlroy go on to miss the cut this week, which looks a distinct possibility given he sits in and around 100th position in Scotland, it would mark the first time he has missed three cuts in his last four starts since the summer of 2012.

Wedge play was McIlroy's undoing, too, on a day the out-of-form world No. 4 failed to shoot the consistent round he has seeking ahead of the Open.

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