Rory Mcllroy departed for Liverpool and this week’s British Open buoyed by his weekend effort in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.
After first setting a course record of 64 on day one but then handing back the seven shots on day two, McIlroy ended his first Scottish Open in four years with scores of 68 and 67 for a share of 14th place on seven under par.
It left McIlroy trailing nine strokes behind England’s Justin Rose — the new world No 3 now joining McIlroy as among the Royal Liverpool favourites after his two-shot Scottish Open success.
Rose dropped just five shots over the four days and snatched 21 birdies, including six on the last day for a 16-under-par victory total.
And the Englishman captured a rare PGA Tour and European Tour back-to-back victory double after winning the Quicken Loans National in his last start and now tasting success for a first time in Scotland.
Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden shot 66 to take second on 14 under and with it secured a place into Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy touched down in Liverpool in enough time to catch the World Cup final and will step out onto Royal Liverpool later this morning for a first official practice round.
And after the disappointment of Friday’s frightful 78, McIlroy closed with six birdies and two bogeys at 13 and 14 in a last-round 67.
“Overall it was good but then a 67 is actually pretty average out there,” he said.
“The course is playing very, very easy and I mean, 67, and I’ve actually moved down one spot on the leaderboard.
“So it’s like par out there was probably around 68, 67. But now I’m looking forward to getting to Hoylake and getting ready there.
“I see enough good signs in my game to give me confidence going into next week.”
However, if McIlroy is to lift the famed Claret Jug next Sunday he needs to play the Royal Liverpool par-fives much better than their Royal Aberdeen equivalents given he was just two under in total over the three par-fives for the four rounds.
“I do need to play the par-fives better as there are four par-fives at Hoylake and they are very reachable, very scoreable,” he said.
“I was only two under par here in Scotland and that isn’t good enough. So I need to try and take care of those a bit better next week to have a chance. But I’ve had three good rounds here, and if I can just string a fourth round in there, it would be great, and that’s what I’m going to try and do, try and just play four solid rounds of golf and see where that leaves me. But I feel like I’m playing well enough to contend.”
Shane Lowry was Hoylake bound as the leading Irishman at Royal Aberdeen, eagling the 12th in carding a 66 to finish in a four-way share of fourth at 10-under par.
The effort is Lowry’s second top-10 in 16 events with a best effort his second place in the BMW PGA while his Scottish Open prize cheque of €148,039 has lifted him to 20th in the Race to Dubai.
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