McIlroy feeling good ahead of Scottish Open

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"I'm here to try and play a bit of links golf and hopefully pick up some momentum and some form".

As he did before the year's first two major championships, Scott will compete in this week's Scottish Open to give himself tournament practice before next week's Open Championship.

But 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.

"It's hard to sit up here and stand in front of a camera every single time and say to you guys it's close because I sound a bit like a broken record after a few weeks", McIlroy said yesterday ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links which starts today.

With a driver in his mitts, McIlroy was majestic for most of the round, but that's not really what he's looking for in this event with an Open Championship just a week away.

He told reporters: "I'm positive about it".

"As well, it is exciting for me to come back and play The Scottish Open".

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"In the past, coming over 10 days before and playing the Open venues worked really well for me", said Scott.

"It's fair to say I'm trying to stay patient but it's proving hard".

"I've always hoped that the last day of golf I play before I die will be 36 holes on the links of Scotland". "This is my only chance to make it now and this is the flawless start for me". "I feel like I did everything right at the U.S. Open".

"I will have zero expectations again next week because when you do, you often get a nice surprise", said Poulter, who was second to Padraig Harrington the last time Birkdale hosted the Open in 2008.

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.

"It was obviously disappointing not to be there (Portstewart) for the weekend", McIlroy added. But apart from that, I was in play a lot. "Yeah, I caught the ferry that time as well, going over to Aberdeen and from there driving down to Hoylake,".

"It's a lot of fun to be back here at the Scottish Open as it was unfortunate I had to miss it previous year with the schedule and the Olympics being part of the summer, and just didn't allow for me to be over here the week before the Open". And as I keep saying it, I don't feel like my game is that far away, so to stay patient when you feel like that is sometimes quite hard.

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