Rory McIlroy shoots 78 to blow lead at Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts during the third round of the 78th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2014
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Rory McIlroy follows up his course-record 64 at the Scottish Open by shooting a second-round 78 to fall back to level par, seven shots adrift of the three leaders.

Rory McIlroy's course-record opening round of 64 at the Scottish Open was soon forgotten as he carded a disappointing 78 on Friday to fall back to level par.

The two-time Major winner made six bogeys and a double bogey in shooting seven-over in tough conditions at Royal Aberdeen, as inconsistency continues to thwart him ahead of next week's Open Championship.

McIlroy bogeyed the par-four first hole, and things went from bad to worse as he dropped five shots on the back nine, with his only birdie coming following a close approach into the sixth green.

The Northern Irishman is now six shots adrift of joint leaders Swede Kristoffer Broberg and Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez, who both went round in par, and home favourite Marc Warren.

Former US Open winner Justin Rose is one shot further back on five-under-par, with fellow Englishmen David Howell (four-under) and Luke Donald (two-under) also in contention going into the weekend.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, who won this event before lifting the Claret Jug last year, is among a group of 15 players on one-under par, which also includes natives Stephen Gallacher and Scott Jamieson.

Rory McIlroy in action during the third day of the PGA Championship on August 10, 2013
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