Daily Trust

McIlroy glad of tough challenge at Scottish Open


Rory McIlroy expects to face a tougher test at this year’s Scottish Open now the course at the Renaissanc­e Club in North Berwick has been strengthen­ed to cope with the threat of the world’s best golfers.

Two years ago, McIlroy shot 13-under-par over the same 18 holes yet that was only good enough for a share of 34th place, with Bernd Wiesberger beating Benjamin Hebert in a playoff after the pair finished tied on 22 under.

McIlroy later said he was “honestly sick” of courses that offered so little challenge and that the Renaissanc­e Club had not been

“a good test”.

But last year’s winning total was 11-under-par and, with thicker rough and new tee placings for this year, fourtime major winner McIlroy expects wayward shots to be punished.

“I would say 14 under this week is probably going to have a decent chance,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “It’s all dependent on the weather, the direction of the wind, whether the course firms up any more than how it is right now.

“It’s obviously soft just from all the rain there’s been the last couple of days. But it’s good. It’s a good test. I think they have added a couple of tees. It’s a bit longer. The rough’s up a bit more than it probably was last time.

“Maybe players might just get punished a little more for wayward shots, which is sort of what you’re looking for.”

The Northern Irishman had planned to take this week off ahead of the British Open at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, southeast England.

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