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McIlroy recreating 2014 to find form for British Open

McIlroy recreating 2014 to find form for British Open

The Open returns to Birkdale next week and Harrington is relaxed about the prospect of getting his hands on the Claret Jug for the third time.

McIlroy's last appearance at the Scottish Open in 2014 was pivotal, as he won The Open Championship the week after at Royal Liverpool.

Victory in the 2008 US PGA proved to be Harrington's last o n a major worldwide tour for seven years and his win at the 2015 Honda Classic came as the Dubliner was about to drop out of the world's top 300.

Reigning Open champion Stenson rebounded from a triple-bogey 7 on his first hole (No. 10) after driving left into thick rough and needing three hacks to get the ball out to shoot level par.

Rickie Fowler made a great start in his bid for a second Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title in three years as Rory McIlroy's struggles continued at Dundonald Links.

By continuing to insist his best form is "close" — he said it again Wednesday — McIlroy acknowledged that he is starting to sound like a "broken record".

"It felt good but it's fun to go out on links and for me to hit shots and they don't necessarily have to be spot on", Fowler said.

And his form shows no sign of improving after a hard opening day in Troon, the four-time major victor ending Thursday two over par, nine strokes behind leader Ilonen, who carded a blemish-free seven-under 65. And as I keep saying it, I don't feel like my game is that far away, so to stay patient when you feel like that is sometimes quite hard.

"But I remember a lot about that tournament, and maybe to this day it's the best golf I've ever played in my career".

McIlroy, who also missed the cut at last week's Irish Open at Portstewart, needed to birdie the 18th to give himself a chance of squeezing into weekend, but he was unable to get up and down from just off the green as he missed an eight-foot putt.

Fowler started the Sunday of the Masters and the U.S. Open in contention this year, only to falter in the final round, and he feels like he'll be in good shape to challenge for the British Open with a week's preparation in Scotland. That way there's less prep the week of a major.

Duntocher golfer Scott Henry secured the last place for today's Scottish Open at Dundonald Links after receiving a sponsor's invitation to the tournament.

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