McIIroy-they must keep their heads in rain


Northern Irish golfer Rory McIIroy will not only have to keep his eye on the slew of players following in his footsteps in the Scottish Open, but also on the severe thunderstorms that are forecast.

McIlroy finished Friday’s second round at the Renaissance Course in North Berwick, Scotland, in 66 and is one stroke ahead of Byeong-Hun An and Joo-Hyung Kim (both of Korea) and Tyrrell Hatton at 130 (-10) of England, who is just one stroke behind McIIroy on all three at 131 strokes (-9).

McIlroy, one of the big favorites for the upcoming British Open at Royal Liverpool, is looking for his first Scottish crown, but he will face Americans Brian Harman and Sam Burns (both 132, -8) and the world’s leading player, Scottie Scheffler (America), should also watch closely.

Scheffler is on 133 (-7) with the Dane Nicolai Hojgaard.

Permeating rain and wind already ran amok in the second round and Saturday’s tee times were moved forward by a few hours in an attempt to fit in the third round.

Of the South Africans, only Erik van Rooyen (135, -5) and Garrick Higgo (136, -4) could qualify for the last two rounds.

Top players who missed the bus include Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick (both England) and Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay (both America).

* In the US LPGA Series’ Dana-Open played in Ohio, the American Annie Park (131, -11) is two shots ahead of Thailand’s Jaravee Boonchant, Linn Grant (Sweden) and Allisen Corpuz (America) after the second round.

They finished at a combined 133 (-9) in the clubhouse at Highlands Meadow Country Club.

Among the other favourites, Min-Jee Lee (Australia) and Lydia Ko (New Zealand) both finished at 135 (-7).

* In the European women’s series’ Aramco team tournament, which is decided at the Centurion Country Club outside London, South Africa’s Casandra Alexander (-4) is on the trail of the leaders, Charley Hull of England and Nelly Korda of America, which together are ahead (-5).

Alexander, who shot two rounds of 69, is tied for third with Germany’s Leonie Harm.

They are followed by Anne van Dam (Netherlands), Noora Komulainen (Norway) and Ana Pelaez of Spain, who finished at -3.

Another South African, Nicole Garcia, is also within striking distance at (-2).

Each team consists of a captain, a second professional player and an amateur, but each player also competes separately.