No. 3-Ranked McIlroy Shoots 66, Leads An, Hatton, Kim by 1 in Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the CJ Cup last October, but finds himself atop the leaderboard again.

The third-ranked McIlroy posted a four-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead over first-round leader Byeong Hun An of South Korea, Tyrrell Hatton of England and Tom Kim of South Korea midway through the Genesis Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.

Heavy rain is predicted for Saturday, so tee times have been moved up for the event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

“I hit the ball really well tee to green, gave myself a ton of looks (at birdie),” said McIlroy, who is playing in the tournament for the first time and using it as a warmup for the 151st Open Championship next week at Royal Liverpool in England. “Honestly, it felt like four under was probably the worst I could have shot out there. But you know, it’s swings in roundabouts. Overall, I’m really pleased with how the last two days have gone.

“I don’t really have any expectations. It would be silly of me to try to pick a potential target score to get to. So I’ll really just embrace the conditions and just sort of make the best of them. I know that I’m playing well enough tee to green to give myself some looks and hang in there, so I’m pretty confident going into the next two days, no matter what the weather throws at us.

“I keep saying that we are all looking forward to next week, but I want to go and win this tournament over the weekend.”

McIlroy, who opened with a 64, made five birdies and played flawlessly until making his lone bogey at No. 17 while recording a 36-hole score of 10-under-par 130.

Hatton, in search of his first victory since the 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, made five birdies after starting on the back nine and four more coming home against a single bogey at No. 2 while shooting a 62 that was the low score of the day.

“It was stressful at times, as most of my rounds are,” said Hatton, who has won 10 times as a professional. “But I’m very happy with the chances I gave myself. I feel I hit a lot of good iron shots today, especially compared to Thursday. I’m very happy with how that was and nice to see some putts drop, too.

“I had three weeks off after the U.S. Open and you probably saw a little bit (of rust) on Thursday, I was fatting a few shots. I was hitting balls off mats last week and, even though I got here Monday night, I still had not managed to get the ball first.

“We managed to do that today and hopefully that continues this weekend.”

Kim, the 21-year-old sensation who has already won 11 times as a pro including twice on the PGA Tour, made four of seven birdies on his back nine against one bogey in a 65, while An, who opened with a course-record 61, made three birdies and three bogeys in a 70.

Sam Burns, who claimed his fifth PGA Tour victory earlier this year in the WGC-Dell Match Play, collected seven birdies in a 65 and is two shots back in a tie for fifth with Brian Harman, who birdied the last hole to cap a bogey free 65 that included four straight birdies on the front nine.

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler birdied three of his first five holes in a bogey-free 65 and is three strokes back in a tie for seventh with 51-year-old Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who had four birdies on his front nine in a 66, and Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, who holed out from 40 yards for an eagle at No. 3 and added seven birdies in a 63.

Eighth-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal made three birdies on his front nine en route to a 68 and is four down in a tie for 10th with Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, who had three birdies coming home in a 67; Daniel Hillier of New Zealand, who shot a bogey-free 66; Grant Forrest of Scotland, who had three straight birdies on his front nine in a 65; Marcel Schneider of Germany, who made three straight birdies on each nine in another 65; Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden, who had three early birdies in a second straight 67, and Ewen Ferguson of Scotland, who posted a bogey-free 68.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark is tied for 17th after a 67, while defending champion and sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State shot a bogey-free 66 and is in a tie for 29th that includes fifth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway, who had four birdies on each nine in a 63.

For complete results and third-round tee times, visit  

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