Tuesday 20 August 2019

McIlroy plans to 'creep up' on leaders in Scotland

Rory McIlroy. Photo: AP
Rory McIlroy. Photo: AP

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy hopes to "creep up" on the leaders with one of his trademark weekend charges in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

The world No 3 shot a second successive 67 to share 30th on eight-under par at the Renaissance Club and still fancies his chances. Just six shots behind South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen, England's Lee Slattery and Bernd Wiesberger - who fired 10-under 61 - he is happy with his game as The Open looms.

"I feel like I've done what I wanted to do this week," McIlroy said.

"I've driven the ball well. The things I've been seeing in practice I've been able to put out there on to the course, and I just might need to go a bit more over the weekend.

"If you play the par 5s well, that's four birdies right there, and then with the other 14 holes, you're bound to give yourself at least eight or 10 looks at birdies and just try and convert a few and hopefully creep up on them over the weekend."

Paul Dunne shot a three-under 68, but missed the five-under cut by one, with Pádraig Harrington a shot further back after a 72, as Graeme McDowell shot 69 to finish on level par.

"I hadn't missed a cut all year till last week, and now I've missed two on the spin," McDowell said. "I'll need to have a little word with myself about that."

At the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, Ruadhrí McGee is 10 shots behind England's Steve Tiley on level par after a 75, with Cormac Sharvin a shot further back after a 71.

There was better news for Jordanstown's Stephanie Meadow in the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Ohio, where she shot a five-under 66 to end a run of six missed cuts in a row and to lie just four shots behind early leader Lexi Thompson on five-under.

However, Leona Maguire's second round 75 left her eight shots behind American In-Kyung Kim on one-over in the Symetra Tour's Donald Ross Classic at French Lick.

In amateur golf, Chelmsford's Arron Edwards-Hill (19) beat Douglas international Peter O'Keeffe 2&1 in the final of the North of Ireland Championship at Portstewart.

"I obviously like it in Ireland," said the new champion, who was second in the West of Ireland and third at the Flogas Irish Amateur Open, both at Co Sligo, earlier this season.

"I lived in Ireland until I was 10. I grew up in Wexford, outside New Ross."

O'Keeffe beat leading qualifier Robert Brazill 3&1 in the morning as Edwards-Hill defeated Mullingar's Liam Grehan 5&4 and never trailed in the final, racing three up after seven holes.

Meanwhile, Ireland's bid for a first win in the European Boys Team Championship for 21 years ended in disappointment in France.They fell 5-2 to Germany in the semi-finals at Golf de Chantilly and now face Sweden for the bronze as the Germans take on the hosts.

Ireland's men beat Germany 3-2 in Sweden and face Wales for fifth place as the hosts take on 12-time winners England for the title.

Irish Independent

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