Rory McIlroy Sparkles at Scottish Open – BBC Golf Report

Get the latest on Rory McIlroy’s impressive performance at the Scottish Open, including eagles, birdies, and his resilience after early challenges. Plus, find out about other leading contenders and their exceptional scores in the tournament.

BBC Golf: Rory McIlroy Bounces Back with Strong Start at Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy, the world’s second-ranked golfer, made a compelling start to the defense of his Scottish Open title, carding a five-under-par 65 to sit just a shot off the clubhouse lead. Competing for the first time since narrowly missing out on a fifth major championship at the US Open, the Northern Irishman showcased his resilience with an impressive performance at the £7 million event.

McIlroy’s round was highlighted by an eagle on the third hole, his 12th of the day, as well as five birdies. However, the 35-year-old acknowledged he faced some early challenges, stating, “I hit a couple of shots over the first few holes that I haven’t seen in practice over the last 10 days, so it was a bit of a reminder that golf isn’t as easy as sometimes I think it is.”

“I felt like I left a couple out there as well, but overall a good start, especially after the scrappy start over the first six or seven holes.”

Nonetheless, the former world No. 1 soon found his rhythm, particularly on the front nine, where he struck some powerful drives and precise iron shots, giving himself numerous birdie opportunities.

Joining McIlroy on the five-under-par mark was Ryder Cup teammate Tommy Fleetwood, who was delighted to have his long-term caddie, Ian Finnis, back on the bag after Finnis underwent open-heart surgery earlier this year. “It feels great,” Fleetwood said. “It feels nice to have had a really good round in his first week, for him more than anything. We did a great job. Everything sort of flowed, really, today.”

The top of the leaderboard is shared by Germany’s Max Kieffer and China’s Li Haotong, both of whom carded six-under-par 64s to claim the clubhouse lead.

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