McIlroy is making his first appearance in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open since 2014, when he travelled to Royal Aberdeen on the back of a missed cut in the Irish Open and went on to finish 14th.
The following week he led from start to finish to win the Open Championship at Hoylake and followed up with wins in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA in consecutive starts.
Three years on, the 28-year-old has made the trip to Dundonald Links after again making an early exit from the Irish Open, with next week’s Open at Royal Birkdale — less than 50km from Hoylake — very much on his mind.
McIlroy has played just nine events this year due to a rib injury and has missed the cut in two of his last three starts, but the four-time major winner insists there is no comparison to his struggles to adapt to new equipment in 2013.
“It feels nowhere near ’13,” said McIlroy. “I really struggled with my golf swing in ’13. I turned up to Muirfield [for the Open] and I was completely lost.
“I wasn’t in a really good frame of mind there. I just wasn’t in a great place. This year, I’ve just got married, I’m in a great place, personally. I think my golf game is really close to being where it needs to be.”