Rory McIlroy trailing after 67 at Scottish Open birdie-fest

Paul Dunne couldn’t find a late birdie to make the cut and will miss the British Open

Rory McIlroy hits a shot out of the rough on the second hole during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Rory McIlroy hits a shot out of the rough on the second hole during day two of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

 

Rory McIlroy admits he will need to reproduce the flying finish which gave him victory in the Canadian Open to win another national title in Scotland.

McIlroy carded a second successive 67 in the ASI Scottish Open to post a halfway total of eight under par, but still found himself six shots off the lead shared by England’s Lee Slattery, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen.

McIlroy was the only one of the Irish quartet to make the cut in Scotland as Paul Dunne, Pádraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell all missed out on the five under par mark.

For Dunne it’s a fourth consecutive missed cut in a dismal run which also confirms that he won’t be playing at the British Open in Portrush next week. Dunne needed to finish in the top-10 this week to have a chance of securing one of the three qualifying spots on offer for the final Major of the year but even his round of 68 today left him one shy of the cut mark.

The Greystones man had reached four under through seven holes thanks to birdies at at the first, sixth and seventh but back-to-back bogeys at the eighth and the ninth stunted his challenge. Despite further birdies at the 11th and 14th he couldn’t find another on the way in to get to five under.

For Harrington a disappointing round of 72 on a very scoreable day saw him slip back to three under while added a 69 to his opening 73 to finish at level par.

That means McIlroy takes on the role of the only Irishman in the field for the weekend. The four-time major winner shot rounds of 64 and 61 over the final two round in Canada a month ago and believes he will need something similar at The Renaissance Club to win a third tournament of the season ahead of next week’s Open Championship in his native Northern Ireland.

McIlroy hits his second to the fourth. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
McIlroy hits his second to the fourth. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

“I’m struggling to see 14 under,” McIlroy said. “Maybe I missed some opportunities but obviously guys are finding the course quite easy.

“It looks like I am going to have to pick up the pace this weekend if I want to have a chance to win. Jon Rahm shot 64, 62 to win last week and I think I’m going to need something similar but I did in Canada and my game feels as good now as it did then.

“I have done what I wanted to do this week, I’ve driven the ball well and things I’ve been working on in practice I’ve seen on the course.”

Slattery had set the initial clubhouse target of 14 under after a second successive 64 which put him in pole position to claim one of the three qualifying places available for next week’s Open Championship.

“That was the primary goal for the week because if you qualify for the Open that means you’ve had a good week and anything else is a bonus,” said Slattery, who shot 65 in the first round of the Irish Open last week but faded to a tie for 27th.

“Last week I started so well but did not follow it up so to get out there and start fast today was the key.”

Van Rooyen matched Slattery’s 64 but the lowest round of the day, and the week so far, had come from the in-form Wiesberger, who birdied his last five holes in an inward half of 29 to set a new course record of 61.

Wiesberger, who was runner-up to Rahm at Lahinch on Sunday, missed seven months of last season after wrist surgery and said: “It’s been tough the last year. Coming off injury it’s been hard, but winning in Denmark a couple of weeks ago is a big boost to me.

“I really enjoy my time out on the golf course again. Maybe take it not as serious as I’ve done before and let it go and that really helped me.”

Collated second round scores & totals in the European Tour Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club, North Berwick (British unless stated, par 71):

128 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 67 61, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 64 64, Lee Slattery 64 64

130 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 65 65, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 63 67

131 Justin Thomas (USA) 67 64, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 64 67, Guido Migliozzi (Spa) 66 65, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 68 63, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 67 64

132 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 68 64, Romain Langasque (Fra) 65 67, Renato Paratore (Ita) 67 65, Ian Poulter 65 67, Calum Hill 68 64, Sean Crocker (USA) 66 66, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 63 69, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 64 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick 67 65

133 Oliver Wilson 65 68, David Horsey 67 66, Matt Kuchar (USA) 63 70, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 66 67, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 67 66, Max Schmitt (Ger) 68 65, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 67 66, Andy Sullivan 64 69, Jamie Donaldson 64 69, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 66 67

134 Andrew Johnston 69 65, Matt Wallace 68 66, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 66 68, Scott Jamieson 70 64, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 67 67, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 67 67, Julian Suri (USA) 68 66, Romain Wattel (Fra) 63 71, Eddie Pepperell 67 67, Thomas Detry (Bel) 69 65, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 67 67

135 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 64 71, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 67, Richie Ramsay 65 70, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 66 69, Grant Forrest 67 68, Chris Paisley 65 70, Jeff Winther (Den) 66 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 66, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 70 65

136 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 68 68, Andrew Putnam (USA) 69 67, Paul Waring 69 67, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 68 68, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 69 67, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 66 70, Stuart Manley 67 69, George Coetzee (Rsa) 68 68, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 69 67, Tom Lewis 67 69, Victor Perez (Fra) 68 68, Tyrrell Hatton 70 66, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 68 68, Bradley Dredge 73 63, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 66

137 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 71 66, Ben Evans 71 66, Jack Singh Brar 69 68, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 69 68, Ashley Chesters 67 70, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 69, Oliver Fisher 67 70, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 66, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 66, David Drysdale 68 69, Hyo-won Park (Kor) 73 64, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 66 71, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 68 69, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 70 67, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 67 70, Lee Westwood 70 67

The following players did not make the cut:

138 Ross Fisher 70 68, Joost Luiten (Ned) 67 71, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 69 69, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 66 72, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 67 71, Marc Warren 69 69, Paul Dunne (Irl) 70 68, Robert Macintyre 68 70, Rickie Fowler (USA) 71 67, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 71 67, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 66 72, Anton Karlsson (Swe) 68 70, Sang Hyun Park (Kor) 69 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 68, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 69, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 68 70, Haotong Li (Chn) 73 65, Stephen Gallacher 70 68, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 67 71, Jordan Smith 70 68

139 Clement Sordet (Fra) 73 66, Branden Grace (Rsa) 68 71, James Morrison 68 71, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 69 70, Aaron Rai 72 67, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 69 70, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 67 72, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 71 68, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 70 69, Alexander Levy (Fra) 71 68, David Lipsky (USA) 67 72, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 68 71, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 67 72

140 Chris Wood 71 69, Matthew Southgate 70 70, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 71, Liam Johnston 70 70, Sam Horsfield 75 65, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 71 69, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 71 69, Russell Knox 70 70, Gavin Green (Mal) 67 73, Chris Doak 70 70

141 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 71, Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 71, S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 70 71, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 70 71, Ashun Wu (Chn) 70 71, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 69 72, Robert Rock 71 70, Jake McLeod (Aus) 70 71, Kevin Kisner (USA) 70 71, Kris Nicol 72 69

142 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 70 72, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 73 69, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 71 71, Paul Lawrie 73 69, Scott Henry 71 71

143 Scott Hend (Aus) 74 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 72, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 71 72, David Howell 71 72, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 74 69

144 Steven Brown 73 71, Richard McEvoy 74 70, Jimmy Walker (USA) 73 71, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 70 74, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 69 75

145 Sam Brazel (Aus) 71 74

147 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 73 74, Justin Walters (Rsa) 70 77, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 75 72

148 David Law 77 71

150 Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 77 73

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