Out-of-form McIlroy misses the cut at Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy Padraig Harrington Alexander Knappe Callum Shinkwin Scottish Open

Speaking about his own first round, which sees him up to co-leader along with Callum Shinkwin, Andrew Dodt and Ian Poulter, Fowler said: "Thursday is all about getting off to a good start and I did a great job of that".

Stenson, now ranked seventh in the world, missed the cut at the recent US Open but bounced back to form a week later in Munich, finishing 10th in the defence of his BMW International Open title.

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

What's worst is McIlroy got a front row seat of good friend Rickie Fowler working his way to an effortless five-under 67. "Coming off winning the year before, I love playing links golf and I love playing the week before a major".

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. He made five birdies during a six-hole stretch from the first to rocket up the leaderboard. His highest finish in 2017, however, was tied for 32nd in Dubai. I haven't been able to put two rounds together, so it's a long way to get four rounds together.

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The three-times major champion successfully defended his Open title there in 2008, the last time the tournament was played at the venue.

Noren, who turned 35 on Wednesday, tees up in the first round sitting in ninth place in the world rankings having captured a ninth Tour title in May courtesy of a sizzling final day and equal career low round of 62 that saw him win the BMW PGA Championship. On his third and fourth holes, he was in the middle of the fairway and less than 100 yards out, yet fell short and right with his approaches the latter into a burn to necessitate a drop for a double-bogey.

The Scottish Open Play-On fantasy game is one of many fantasy cricket and golf games available through the European Tour web site's game lobby.

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.

Poulter highlighted his round with an eagle after landing his second shot on the par-five 14th hole of the course to just two feet.

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