ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) — Rory McIlroy surrendered the lead at the Scottish Open with his latest second-round meltdown on Friday, leaving three players tied for first place on a day when brutal winds played havoc with the field.
Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Marc Warren of Scotland were atop the leaderboard on 6 under, with just 17 of 150 players shooting below 70 on the par-71 Royal Aberdeen links course.
McIlroy shot a course-record 64 in the first round but followed it up with a 78, continuing a worrying trend this season that has seen the former world No. 1 fail to build on strong starts.
"Having to talk about it, it's always being brought up, it's sort of in your mind," a frustrated McIlroy said.
Justin Rose shrugged off the effects of hayfever to sign for a 68 and was alone in fourth place, a shot behind the trio of leaders.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson was among the afternoon starters who had to deal with a punishing breeze, especially on the back nine. A 73, which left him at 1 under, was something of an achievement but left him "mentally drained" just a week before the defense of his British Open title.
"I'm a little concerned that it's taking up a little bit more energy than I'd like ahead of next week," Mickelson said. "But it's also a good opportunity to focus on the more difficult shots that we'll have next week. So it kind of goes both ways."
Englishmen Lee Westwood (73 for 3 over) and Ian Poulter (74 for 5 over) were the high-profile names to miss the cut.
McIlroy's brilliant first round suggested the Northern Irishman had turned the corner in his bid to conquer the links but he looked a disgruntled, beaten man after he came off the 18th green.
Over the same seven-hole stretch (Nos. 8-14) where he picked up six shots on Thursday, McIlroy dropped six shots — including a double-bogey 7 at the 12th.
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