McIlroy fires F-Bomb en route to opening 74 at Scottish Open

Bernhard Langer has won the Senior Players the past three years

Speaking about his own first round, which sees him up to co-leader along with Callum Shinkwin, Andrew Dodt and Ian Poulter, Fowler said: "Thursday is all about getting off to a good start and I did a great job of that".

It was the world No. 4's third missed cut in his last four events - he also failed to make the weekend at the U.S. Open and last week's Irish Open - and the latest low point in an injury-affected 2017 for the four-time major victor.

Rory is playing catch-up after an injury-hit season and this is his last chance to get his game sharp for next week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in England.

As many as six players follow in a tie for second - the most notable of which is World No 10 Rickie Fowler, one of the Americans in the field this week as preparation for next week's Open Championship.

"I also enjoy playing the week before the Majors just to get myself ready to go, tick off some boxes". Ilonen, an afternoon starter, was giving his post-round interviews just as rain began to fall for the first time in an opening round that featured a sometimes-fierce breeze off the Ayrshire coast in western Scotland. 3 and 5, both par fives, and got into red figures for the first time this week with a close-range birdie at No. 7.

"It's just putting it all together, not just for one day but for four days; and not just for four days, to do it week in and week out", he said. 1-6 and was delighted that a decision to use a new set of irons this week paid off.

And while McIlroy was not approached after his round, Fowler was full of confidence the four-time Major victor will turn around what is now three scores in succession where he has failed to break par. He cut a frustrated figure on his back nine, chucking his club high into the air on his last hole after a weak approach.

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.

Rory McIlroy's fortunes failed to improve ahead of next week's Open at Royal Birkdale after he finished the tournament one-over-par, missing the cut for a second straight tournament by two shots.

From 4 over after four holes, McIlroy recovered to 1 over after 16, with three of his four birdies coming via tap-ins on par fives.

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