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Trio lead in Scotland as McIlroy falters

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Scotland's Marc Warren will carry the hopes of a nation into the weekend of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after a fine second round performance in difficult conditions hoisted the Glaswegian into a share of the halfway lead with Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Swede Kristoffer Broberg.

Warren's two under 69 in the most testing conditions of the day took him to six under for the tournament, matching the aggregates of Gonzalez and Broberg.

With the wind turning 180 degrees from Thursday's first round, the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club proved a hugely different challenge to the star studded field, a fact perfectly highlighted by the contrasting fortunes of Rory McIlroy who followed his opening course record 64 with a seven over par 78 to lie in a share for 34th place on level par.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson is one better than McIlroy after a 73, while England's Justin Rose snuck into contention after an early 68 propelled the 2013 US Open Champion into fourth spot on five under.

Warren is excited by the prospect of the weekend but aware of the expectation. "I am absolutely delighted with that. The front nine was offering a few more chances today, going with the wind, but then playing the back nine in one under was really good. It would be a very romantic tale to have a Scotsman winning here "“ it's a massive event, and I'm sure anybody would love to win this tournament, and being Scottish would make it that bit more special."

Rose is the leading world ranked player in the field and reconfirmed his passion for playing this style of golf. "If you had to choose one course for the rest of your life, it would be a links course, because it can be different every day. It was completely the opposite wind today. You had to make your score on the front nine instead of hanging on like you had to yesterday. I'm beginning to click back into gear. I'm beginning to see good shots and feel like I'm going to hit some good shots. This is a true test and I'm enjoying every minute."

McIlroy was the shock of the day and continues the enigma he can sometimes be. When he is good he is very, very good but the reverse can also apply. Today was the latter.

"I didn't get off to the best start, obviously," said McIlroy. "I played okay and hit some good shots, but just wasn't getting the ball close enough. It was just one of those days that nothing really went right, and you know, I'm here for the weekend at least. I'm only two shots off the top 10 somehow. I need go out tomorrow and go out early enough and try and shoot something similar to what I did the first day."

Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby are the only two Australians to have made the cut but only just, the pair in 63rd position.

Leading Second Round Scores:

136 R Gonzalez (Arg) 65 71, M Warren (Sco) 67 69, K Broberg (Swe) 65 71,
137 J Rose (Eng) 69 68,
138 D Howell (Eng) 68 70,
139 M Ilonen (Fin) 71 68, L Bjerregaard (Den) 70 69,
140 T Hatton (Eng) 69 71, A Otaegui (Esp) 71 69, F Zanotti (Par) 70 70, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 72 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 70, P Casey (Eng) 69 71, M Hoey (Nir) 66 74, S Lowry (Irl) 72 68, L Donald (Eng) 67 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 70, G Hutcheon (Sco) 70 70,
141 P Waring (Eng) 75 66, S Khan (Eng) 70 71, C Lee (Sco) 72 69, R Bland (Eng) 67 74, P Mickelson (USA) 68 73, S Jamieson (Sco) 74 67, M Manassero (Ita) 69 72, T Aiken (RSA) 71 70, J Walker (USA) 71 70, M Foster (Eng) 71 70, T Lewis (Eng) 70 71, D Willett (Eng) 70 71, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 69, J Singh (Ind) 70 71, O Schniederjans (am) (USA) 71 70,
142 R Knox (Sco) 68 74, M Siem (Ger) 73 69, G Storm (Eng) 70 72, J Hahn (USA) 71 71, R Fowler (USA) 71 71, B Wiesberger (Aut) 74 68, A Quiros (Esp) 71 71, D Clarke (Nir) 69 73, P Larrazábal (Esp) 69 73, K Phelan (Irl) 69 73, R Karlsson (Swe) 71 71, R McIlroy (Nir) 64 78, M Ford (Eng) 75 67, T Jaidee (Tha) 71 71, M Jiménez (Esp) 74 68, R Palmer (USA) 70 72,
143 M Carlsson (Swe) 71 72, A Forsyth (Sco) 70 73, N Fasth (Swe) 69 74, G Stal (Fra) 68 75, J Morrison (Eng) 71 72, T Björn (Den) 70 73, P Harrington (Irl) 71 72, G Coetzee (RSA) 73 70, J Luiten (Ned) 73 70, C Del Moral (Esp) 70 73, D Drysdale (Sco) 67 76, D McGrane (Irl) 71 72, M Laird (Sco) 70 73,
144 G Maybin (Nir) 70 74, G Bhullar (Ind) 75 69, J Carlsson (Swe) 71 73, S Henry (Sco) 73 71, M Lundberg (Swe) 71 73, W Ormsby (Aus) 71 73, P Lawrie (Sco) 74 70, E Els (RSA) 73 71, R Santos (Por) 73 71, S Dyson (Eng) 71 73, S Kapur (Ind) 69 75, J Hansen (Den) 71 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 73 71, M Kieffer (Ger) 71 73, A Levy (Fra) 75 69, M Jones (Aus) 71 73,


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