McIlroy six off lead after disastrous 78

Rory McIlroy,  on the 17th tee, pondering where it all went wrong  after a poor  Scottish Open second round at Royal Aberdeen yesterday. Picture: PA

As widely speculated, Rory McIlroy’s Friday curse continued as he again failed to capitalise on a low opening round on day two of the Scottish Open yesterday.

The golfer who proudly set a new Royal Aberdeen course record of 64 on Thursday stumbled his way to a staggering second round of 78.

It left McIlroy from leading by one to be now trailing six shots behind the leading trio of Scotland’s Marc Warren (69), Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg (71) and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez who let slip a two shot lead in doubling the last in a score of 71.

A day after letting rip with what is believed to be one of the European Tour’s longest drives in his first Scottish Open appearance in four years, McIlroy struggled to find fairways and greens in regulation.

McIlroy’s second round was a sour cocktail of just one birdie, at the sixth hole, along with six bogeys and a 12th hole double bogey where he took two shots to get out of a greenside bunker.

“I would be happier standing here after shooting a couple of 71s but that’s not the case,” he said.

“It hasn’t been the case all year that I’ve got off to a great start and just fell away because I am still in the tournament and can go out there this morning and get a few of those shots back I lost.

“And this Friday thing and having to talk about it, as it’s always being brought up? It’s sort of in my mind and maybe I put myself under even more pressure.

“It’s another Friday out of the way, and I can go onto the weekend,” he added.

Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey share the leading Irish honours, with Lowry posting a three under par 68 to move to two under par in a display capped a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth hole.

Hoey slipped from five under and tied with Lowry inside the top-10 with a score of 74 and completing his inward half in four over par that included a double at the 14th.

Mt. Juliet’s Kevin Phelan (73) finds himself tied with McIlroy and Darren Clarke (73).

Pádraig Harrington, meanwhile, will play all four rounds despite his closing two holes in a score also of 73 to slip to one over and tied with Damien McGrane (72).

And Ryder Cup Paul McGinley hinted he may have to skip contesting next month’s PGA Championship to rest a shoulder injury after rounds of 74 and 73.

McGinley has a bout of bursitis that can only be cured with rest.

“I didn’t play that badly these two days despite my preparation being poor because of my shoulder,” he said after a five over par total.

“But I am not going to have to seriously consider what I am going to do for the rest of the summer because I’ve been told my shoulder needs two to three months rest if I am going to get rid of it.

“I am due to play the PGA Championship, given I was afforded an invitation, but I will see where I am at with my shoulder after a holiday.”


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