Rory McIlroy admitted he was shell-shocked after another frightful Friday saw him tumble down the leaderboard at the Scottish Open.
McIlroy set a new course record of 64 at Royal Aberdeen on Thursday, but as the wind changed direction so did the former world No 1, who stumbled to a 78 that had him battling to make the cut.
McIlroy needed 40 shots to cover the back nine and had to save par from greenside bunkers on the 17th and 18th to make sure of being here for the weekend.
“It’s been the case all year. I’ve got off to great starts and fell away but I am still in the tournament and I can go out in the morning and try to get some of those shots back,” the 25-year-old said.
“You are having to talk about it so it’s in your mind and I am maybe putting more pressure on myself to shoot a good score. It’s another Friday out of the way, thank God, and I can go on to the weekend. I shot 68 on the Friday at the US Open so hopefully next week will be the same.”
In contrast, Justin Rose went from woeful on Wednesday to title contender yesterday, carding a 68 to finish five under par and just one off the clubhouse lead shared by Scotland’s Marc Warren and Swede Kristoffer Broberg.
Rose, who won at Congressional a fortnight ago, said: “I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous. It was like I had lost my game somewhere over the Atlantic. But the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that’s part of the reason for playing this week ahead of [next week’s Open at] Hoylake.
“It was great to see the course in a completely opposite wind. I did well to hang on to my score on the back nine and made a few good six or seven-footers coming in.”