With the wind direction shifting 180 degrees and stiffening a bit on Friday at The Aberdeen Assets Management Scottish Open, no one was driving the 436 yard, 16th hole in the second round at Royal Aberdeen. Not even Rory McIlroy! With the leader still on the course at this writing, the projected cut is one over par, and could possibly reach +2 before the afternoon is over.
Ricardo Gonzales from Argentina is on the on-course leader, and is two under par early in his round. He is attempting to follow his fellow countryman, Angel Cabrera who won last week at Greenbrier with a win in Scotland, and punch his ticket to Royal Liverpool next week. In fact, he could make it an Argentinian sweep if they can beat Germany in the World Cup.
Gonzales made three quick birdies on the front, and got his score to -9 under par before a bogey at eight brought him back to reality. The front nine is playing easier today, and he still has to face the back where most of the high scores of the day came. He shot six under 65 of Thursday, but everyone played well on Thursday.
Defending champ, Phil Mickelson, got off to a rocky start with a bogey at the first hole, and scrambled all day to maintain his position. Without any top tens since his early-season visit to Abu Dhabi, Phil looks good for the first time this year. He made the turn on Friday at even par, and would have had an even par round if he hadn’t hit his tee-shot on 16 into a place where no one could find it.
The big looser on the day was Rory McIlroy. Rory continues to put up great numbers on Thursdays, and plays himself out of contention on Fridays. Freaky-Friday did it to the 24 year-old Ulstermen again at Royal Aberdeen.
Rory followed his -7 under par 64 yesterday with a +7 over 78 today, but the good news is, he should make the cut, and play on the weekend. He will have to make up the ground he lost today if he wants to be a contender on Sunday.
Continuing to show folks that winning the US Open at Merion last year, and again at the US Open conditions a couple of weeks ago at Congressional that is was no fluke, is Justin Rose. Rose followed his first-round -2 under par 69 on Thursday with a -3 under par performance today.
Justin sits at -5 under for the opening 36 holes, and could be within one-shot of the lead by the time the day is over.
There are three spots on the Open Championship roster up for grabs this week at The Scottish Open. The spots will go to the top three contenders, and their position in The Official World Rankings if there are any ties.