Rory McIlroy started a tournament in brilliant fashion with a course-record 64 in the opening round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday.
McIlroy excelled as he targets a second European Tour title in four events – and give himself a boost ahead of next week’s Open Championship.
Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg had established a new record of 65 at a windswept Royal Aberdeen after going out in the first group at 6:30am, but that lasted two hours as McIlroy carded eight birdies – including six in seven holes around the turn – and just one bogey.
The 25-year-old used the 20mph winds to his advantage in amazing fashion on the 13th, driving the green on the downhill 436-yard par four.
McIlroy said: “Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses.
“I’ve been working the last 10 days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practised.”
McIlroy leads by one from Broberg and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez, with Michael Hoey another shot back on five under after covering the back nine in 29 with four birdies and an eagle.