Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Scottish Open: Top seven Play-On fantasy picks

Scottish Open: Top seven Play-On fantasy picks

"I'd heard great things about Dundonald Links. and it looks like everything is in place for a special week, though, with a superb venue, a strong field, a great sponsor and wonderful fans who really know their golf".

McIlroy's one-under 71 was not enough to make up for his opening 74 as Northern Ireland's world number four missed a third cut in four events.

The 2013 Masters champion hasn't played since missing the cut at the U.S. Open three weeks ago and will be looking to sharpen his links game with four rounds under tournament conditions ahead of Royal Birkdale.

Helped by three birdies at par-5s thereafter, McIlroy was able to fix some of that early damage but still finished seven shots behind one of his playing partners, Rickie Fowler.

"I remember I went out with Brett Rumford and Scott Gardiner, another player on tour, that night". 3 and 5, both par fives, and got into red figures for the first time this week with a close-range birdie at No. 7.

Ilonen is a five-time victor on the European Tour and has links pedigree, having won the British Amateur in 2000.

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.

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Starting from the tenth, Ilonen birdied the 14th and 15th before catching first after the turn.

Padraig Harrington battled through the rain to roll in a 25-yard par putt from off the 16th green and chip in from the back of No. 17 to complete a 67, joining Fowler, Ian Poulter, Paul Peterson, Callum Shinkwin and Andrew Dodt.

The four-time major victor had not missed successive cuts since May 2015 and briefly looked on course to survive after three birdies in an unblemished front nine. He cut a frustrated figure on his back nine, chucking his club high into the air on his last hole after a weak approach.

However, instead the 28-year-old produced a repeat of the recent form which saw him miss the cut in the US Open in June and in the defence of his Irish Open title last week.

A birdie followed but he dropped another shot at the par-five 18th.

No South African has ever won the Scottish Open, but with 12 players in the field this week there are some serious contenders to end that streak.

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