Rory McIlroy followed his course-record 64 with a horrific seven-over-par 78 on Friday in the second round of the blustery Scottish Open to fall to even par at Royal Aberdeen.
Phil Mickelson, the defending champion, shot a two-over 73 in the second round and is one under for the tournament, five shots behind leaders Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina and Marc Warren of Scotland.
McIlroy tried to make the best of a bad situation by saying the windy and wild conditions were a good way to prepare for next week's
"It was a grind out there," McIlroy said. "But at the end of the day, it's a great way to prepare for next week, if nothing else."
Mickelson told reporters that it took quite an effort to complete the round but agreed with McIlroy that it was good preparation for Hoylake.
"I'm a little concerned that it's taking up a little bit more energy than I'd like ahead of next week," Mickelson said. "But it's also a good opportunity to focus on the more difficult shots that we'll have next week. So it kind of goes both ways."
There are a few big-name golfers who can begin to worry about Hoylake this weekend after missing the cut at Royal Aberdeen, including