'Pretty pleased': Rory McIlroy makes flying start before falling into pack at Scottish Open as McDowell struggles
Rory McIlroy made a blistering start at the Scottish Open, four under par through seven holes, before falling back and finishing up in a tie for 29th at the end of day one.
He fared much better than Graeme McDowell, who at two over is five shots off the cut-mark.
McIlroy started off peppering the early pins and was three shots off the lead after those blistering open seven holes.
However, two bogeys dropped the Holywood golfer back to -2. His ship was steadied by two late birdies to finish at -4, five shots behind the four leaders.
"I think they were pretty generous in terms of the course set-up because they have never been here before," McIlroy said.
"The rain softened the greens and any links course we go to where there is not much wind people are going to rip it apart.
"It was sort of tough to get it close to the holes coming in just because the wind had picked up. But overall pretty pleased with how the day went."
McIlroy praised the performance of playing partner Robert MacIntyre, the 22-year-old left-hander carding a 68 as he continues his impressive debut season on the European Tour.
"I thought he did great," McIlroy added. "I said to him I enjoyed watching him at Hillside when he finished second in the British Masters and he played great here, he handled himself really well.
"He got off to a nice start, it was a bit of a shaky one for him around the middle but he came back with a couple of birdies coming in. I thought he did very well."
The early front-runners are Edoardo Molinari, brother of the reigning Open champion and still in search of a place at next week's Open, Nino Bertasio, Matt Kuchar and Romain Wattel.
McDowell finished way back in a tie for 139th after making five bogeys and three birdies at The Renaissance Club.
Belfast Telegraph Digital