Rory McIlroy in action at the Scottisn Open
Rory McIlroy in action at the Scottisn Open Image Credit: Reuters

Hello to all from on unseasonably quiet day at The Renaissance in North Berwick, Scotland, after the first round of the Scottish Open.

The golf course, as I said in my preview, is gettable. A 7-under par 64 was the best of the day by England’s Jack Senior, a former Mena Tour player currently No. 353 in world rankings and No. 127 in the Race to Dubai standings.

I suggest the greens are slower than they look and so many players left the ball short of the hole with the flat stick, so, in my opinion, I believe scores will improve all week.
Here is a look at my players from Thursday’s opening round:

Rory McIlroy (-1/T73rd): I was with Rory on the range and we were one of the last ones to leave. Rory had a few poor drives, which is not his style and makes him somewhat uncomfortable throughout his all round game. An average putting round with a decent par saving putt on the 18th green has set Rory up for a good second round. I am confident that will be an improvement on Round 1.
Thomas Pieters (-3/T13th): Well played to Thomas. Another bogey-free round. Surely a win from a player with so much talent is not far away. Again he is struggling on the greens and 35 putts in Round 1 sums that up.
Danny Willett (+1/T96th): As we said, Danny is still adjusting to his recent operations. He has fast-tracked his recovery and we all know that nature cannot be rushed.
Jazz Janewattenanond (+4): Jazz was four over after four holes. Not the ideal start for a tournament but he settled well and is still four over par at the end of the round.
Sean Crocker (+1/T114th): Following Sean’s strong week at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, his first round this week has disappointed. It was a very average performance from Sean and we expect much better for tomorrow.

Ian Poulter in action on the 13th at the Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club
Ian Poulter in action on the 13th at the Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club Image Credit: Reuters

Ian Poulter (-5/T4th): DP World Ambassador Ian scored a lovely 5-under and is lurking. A big couple of weeks will give him the platform to build on his Ryder Cup potential and participation.
Padraig Harrington (-4/T13th): An impressive round from the Ryder Cup Captain. I told you all he was in decent form and worth both watching and following.
Graeme McDowell (+2/T131st): Graeme is having a tough season and will be honest to say he should and needs to be playing so much better at this time of the year.
Henrik Stenson (+1/T113th): Henrik had a decent round going and was two-under with just four holes to play. However, a decent performance was spoilt by three dropped shots over the last four holes.
Branden Grace (-2/T45th): I always like it when a player comes off the golf course and says he played poorly. Branden shot a 69 and even dropped a shot on his last hole.
Victor Perez (-2/T45th): One of the most underrated player on the European Tour. A steady round of 69 sets him up nicely for a big week and potentially Ryder Cup qualification.

Two of my coaching partner Mike Walker’s players were also in action:
Matt Fitzpatrick (-5/T4th): An excellent opening round of 66. Matt looks fresh and energised after a week off last week. It could be a big week for him.
Adri Arnaus (-3/T13th): A solid 68 saw Adri, the Dubai resident, continue his consistent form. Keep it going Adri.

Additionally, a big well done to another Dubai resident Adrian Otaegui with his first-round 68. He seems to be in the mix every week these days. Plenty of drama and action will be seen over the next three days.