Part of complete coverage on
Rory McIlroy sets course record at Scottish Open
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)
- Rory McIlroy shoots a course record at the Scottish Open with a 64
- The Northern Irishman tallies eight birdies and one bogey at Royal Aberdeen
- Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg had earlier set the course record on Thursday
- Defending champion Phil Mickelson is in contention after registering a 68
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy is off to a good start at the Scottish Open. He's hoping for a good finish, too, after missing the cut at the Irish Open.
McIlroy shot a course record 7-under-par 64 at Royal Aberdeen on Thursday, and he was actually the second player to better the old mark -- Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg had earlier fired a 65.
McIlroy carded eight birdies and one bogey in windy, chilly conditions.
"Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score, so to shoot something better than that is pleasing," McIlroy was quoted as saying by the European Tour's website.
A win Sunday would be the perfect way for former No. 1 McIlroy to prepare for the British Open, which starts next week at Royal Liverpool. He won the last of his two majors in 2012.
A golfing history of Royal Liverpool
How far has women's golf come?
Jordan Spieth's life changing shot
"Everything was pretty much on," McIlroy said. "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 practiced."
Last year Phil Mickelson used the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart as the springboard to his British Open title and his 68 leaves him well within touching distance of McIlroy.
Mickelson needs a jolt of confidence given that 'Lefty' has slipped outside the top 10 in the rankings and hasn't finished in the top 10 on the PGA Tour this season.
"I thought it was tough conditions," Mickelson said in an audio interview posted on the European Tour's website. "I was surprised to see some low scores out there because it didn't seem like it was playing easy, and the wind was pretty strong.
"I felt like I played well and had a good putting day. It was a good day."
Last year's U.S. Open champion, Justin Rose, was tied for 13th with a 69 but Jonas Blixt -- who tied for second at the Masters -- was well adrift following a 74.
Read: Woods comeback ends early
Part of complete coverage on
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
Today's five most popular stories