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McIlroy sets course record as Mickelson avoids penalty

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy dropped one shot during the first round © Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy set a new course record at Royal Aberdeen as he stormed into the lead at the Scottish Open

The Northern Irishman carded a seven-under 64 to end the opening round one shot clear of Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg - who before McIlroy had set a new course record on 65 as part of the first group out at 6.30am - and Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez - who suffered a collapse towards the end of his round after he had six birdies and one eagle but dropped two shots in his final six holes.

The former world No.1 dropped a shot on the par-4 fourth hole but recovered by making six birdies in seven holes and ended the day with eight birdies.

Donald and Warren keep in touch

  • Luke Donald and Marc Warren both opened their respective Scottish Open campaigns with impressive rounds to keep in touch at the top.
  • Read about how the rest of the field got on here

"I went out there today and I just trusted what I had practiced over the last 10 days," McIlroy said.

"That's what pleased me most. I'm feeling confident with my driver. I'm driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get a driver in my hand then I can get a bit of an advantage on the rest of the field."

Phil Mickelson managed to avoid a penalty as he began the defence of his title with a three-under 68.

The American was unsure whether he had moved his ball on the 10th hole whilst addressing it, but was told by a reporter after his round that television replays showed the ball to have moved as a consequence of the windy conditions and not his backswing.

"I actually couldn't figure out what happened because the ball had moved prior," Mickelson said. "But when I was addressing it and taking it back I was focusing about a foot in front where I wanted to extend my divot and I saw movement in my peripheral.

"But I wasn't focused on the ball so I asked Bones [Mickelson's caddie Jim Mackay] whether it moved and he didn't know, so that's why we were trying to figure it out if television had seen anything because it determines whether I moved the ball back or not.

"Basically the ruling is that a gust of wind had moved it from the hillside."

Mickelson made birdie on the 13th hole after playing his second shot from the road, and on the recovery he said: "I had to hit it pretty hard because it was a 98-yard shot but I drove it into the green and it checked up nicely."

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