Rory McIlroy misses cut at Scottish Open as Jon Rahm shares lead

Bizarre incident on opening tee box saw spectator take club from McIlroy’s bag

Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

 

Strange deeds on the links at The Renaissance, where Jon Rahm was witness to a pilfering from Rory McIlroy’s bag on the 10th tee (their first of the round); where veteran Lee Westwood added an in-vogue hoodie to his wardrobe attire, and where the abrdn Scottish Open contrived to see an unwieldy 87 players survived the midway cut which fell at two-under-par 140.

First things first. McIlroy - one of those who failed to survive into the weekend in his final tournament before next week’s 149th Open at Royal St George’s - was as mystified as anyone when a random spectator walked onto the tee box prior to the player’s second round and helped himself to the golfer’s St Bernard dog headcover and then an iron before shaping up as if he were going to hit a tee shot. He was escorted off the course by security personnel.

“Security was good but these things can happen,” observed Rahm who, along with McIlroy and his caddie Harry Diamond, seemed frozen as the bizarre events unfolded. “We didn’t know. Rory and I both thought it was a prank or someone who was supposed to be there. We had three or four security guys with us, and they did what they have to do.”

Rory McIlroy on the 10th tee during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Rory McIlroy on the 10th tee during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Whatever about any anticipation that it might have been something out of a hidden camera prank, Rahm was the one who got down to the serious business on the course as he covered his first nine holes in 29 strokes en route to a 65 for an 11-under-par midway total of 131 which gave him a share of the lead with Thomas Detry and Jack Senior.

For McIlroy, who had belatedly added the tournament on his pre-Open schedule after Covid restrictions led to his wife and daughter opting not to travel over from the United States, it was a missed cut - by one stroke, after he shot a second round 71 for 141 - that was definitely not part of the plan.

Pádraig Harrington, who has found a new lease of life in juggling Ryder Cup captaincy with playing duties, and Cormac Sharvin were the only two of the quintet of Irish players competing to survive into the weekend.

The 49-year-old Dubliner shot a second round 68 for a 36-holes total of seven-under-par 135 to lie in tied-11th place, four shots adrift of the trio of co-leaders, while Sharvin - continuing the momentum of his tied-33rd finish in the Irish Open - added a second round 66 for 136 to be in tied-16th at the halfway stage. Sharvin has the added incentive of chasing one of the three tickets available into the Open, available to those not already exempt.

“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been struggling with my game for the last while but I managed to get things together last week and I felt like I hit the ball quite nicely and just brought that into this week,” said the 28-year-old Co Down player who has recovered from a toe injury - sustained when he hit his foot into a coffee table when reaching for his phone - following a number of weeks of rehab.

Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm on the 13th green. Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm on the 13th green. Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

On a day of very little wind, the links had little protection as many players were rewarded for aggressive golf. Rahm, the US Open champion, was one of them. Having recovered quickly from the early-morning incident on the 10th, the Spaniard rolled in six birdies - including three in a row from the 16th - to turn in 29 strokes and seemed set for something really special when adding another on the first, to be seven-under on his round at that point.

However Rahm was brought back to earth with bogeys on the second and fourth before finding another birdie on the seventh for his 65: “When you play on a links golf course with no wind, you can make some birdies. For the first 10 holes, I played perfect golf,” he observed.

At one stage it looked as if he would separate himself from the field, but that slow run-in combined with some fine play from Detry (65) and Senior (67) meant the world number one was left in a share of the midway lead with Lee Westwood, who had a brilliant eagle-birdie-birdie finish, among a trio with Matt Fitzpatrick and George Coetzee a short further back.

Padraig Harrington made it into the weekend at the Scottish Open after a second round of 68. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty
Padraig Harrington made it into the weekend at the Scottish Open after a second round of 68. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty

“It’s always nice to walk up there and have a tap-in for eagle,” said Westwood of his three on the Par 5 16th where he hit a 4-iron approach of 246 yards stone dead. “I’m enjoying my golf. I get up every day and do something I love and my swing feels in a good place. I feel like I’m a good enough player to still contend.”

Collated Second round scores in the European Tour abrdn Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Britain & Ireland unless stated, Par 71:

131 Jon Rahm (Spa) 66 65, Thomas Detry (Bel) 66 65, Jack Senior 64 67

132 Matthew Fitzpatrick 66 66, Lee Westwood 65 67, George Coetzee (Rsa) 66 66

134 Justin Thomas (USA) 65 69, Ian Poulter 66 68, David Law 67 67, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 66 68

135 Scottie Scheffler (USA) 72 63, Richard Bland 69 66, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 67 68, Padraig Harrington 67 68, Oliver Farr 67 68

136 Tyrrell Hatton 69 67, Tommy Fleetwood 66 70, Ryan Palmer (USA) 66 70, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 66, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 67 69, Justin Walters (Rsa) 69 67, Cormac Sharvin 70 66

137 Collin Morikawa (USA) 70 67, Xander Schauffele (USA) 67 70, Victor Perez (Fra) 69 68, Robert MacIntyre 68 69, Chris Wood 68 69, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 68, Scott Hend (Aus) 67 70, Marcus Armitage 68 69, Min-Woo Lee (Aus) 68 69, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 71 66, Johannes Veerman (USA) 70 67, Adria Arnaus (Spa) 68 69, Matthew Southgate 69 68, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 67 70, Grant Forrest 67 70, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 68 69

138 Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 68 70, Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 70, Renato Paratore (Ita) 69 69, Graeme Storm 68 70, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 68, Richie Ramsay 67 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 70 68, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 71 67, Ross Fisher 70 68, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 69 69, Oliver Fisher 69 69, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 68 70, Jamie Donaldson 68 70, Connor Syme 67 71

139 Will Zalatoris (USA) 69 70, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 71 68, Aaron Rai 71 68, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 68 71, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 68 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 71 68, Jeff Winther (Den) 67 72, Matthew Jordan 68 71, Darius van Driel (Ned) 70 69

140 Billy Horschel (USA) 70 70, Sam Burns (USA) 72 68, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 69, Matt Wallace 70 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 69 71, Laurie Canter 72 68, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 73 67, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 69 71, Thorbjoern Olesen (Den) 74 66, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 73 67, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 70 70, Steven Brown 70 70, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 71 69, Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 72 68, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 71, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 69 71, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 68 72, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 70, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 70 70, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 71, Robert Rock 69 71, Joel Stalter (Fra) 69 71, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 67 73, Calum Hill 70 70, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 69 71, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 75 65

141 Rory McIlroy 70 71, Corey Conners (Can) 76 65, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 68 73, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 69 72, Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 67 74, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 69 72, Eddie Pepperell 70 71, Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den) 68 73, Andy Sullivan 71 70, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 68 73, Jordan Smith 71 70, David Horsey 66 75, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 72 69, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 71 70

142 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 73 69, Haotong Li (Chn) 70 72, John Catlin (USA) 70 72, Callum Shinkwin 69 73, Andrew Johnston 69 73, Ignacio Elvira (Spa) 71 71, Oliver Wilson 69 73, Scott Jamieson 70 72, Julian Suri (USA) 71 71, Ashley Chesters 71 71, James Morrison 69 73, Ricardo Santos (Por) 69 73, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 71 71

143 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 71, Stephen Gallacher 70 73, Daniel van Tonder (Rsa) 71 72, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 69 74, Marc Warren 72 71, Dale Whitnell 72 71

144 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 72 72, Sam Horsfield 73 71, Jimmy Walker (USA) 71 73, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 74 70, Sean Crocker (USA) 72 72, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 75 69, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 75, Robin Roussel (Fra) 72 72

145 Graeme McDowell 73 72, Richard McEvoy 69 76, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 75, Ross McGowan 74 71, Paul O’Hara 76 69, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 72 73, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 74 71, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 72 73, David Howell 75 70, Sebastian Garcia (Spa) 71 74

146 Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 77 69, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 73 73

147 Danny Willett 72 75, Justin Harding (Rsa) 72 75, Gavin Green (Mal) 72 75

148 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 76 72, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 77 71, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 70 78

149 Paul Waring 75 74

150 Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 77 73, Jonathan Caldwell 74 76, David Drysdale 72 78, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 74 76

151 Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 76 75

152 Chris Paisley 77 75, Peter Hanson (Swe) 73 79

153 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 77 76

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