McIlroy misses cut as Harrington leads

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Padraig Harrington is a 15-time winner on the European Tour
Scottish Open, first round
-9 P Harrington (Ire), C Shinkwin (Eng), A Knappe (Ger); -8 I Poulter (Eng), A Dodt (Aus); -7 R Fowler (US), N Colsaerts (Bel), G Havret (Fra)
Selected others:-4 S Gallacher (Sco), A Scott (Aus); -3 H Stenson (Swe); -2 L Donald (Eng); -1 G McDowell (NI); +1 R McIlroy (NI)
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Ireland’s Padraig Harrington moved into a share of the lead at the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links as out-of-form Rory McIlroy again missed the cut.

Harrington, 45, moved to nine under par after a second-round 68, level with Callum Shinkwin and Alexander Knappe.

Ian Poulter is a stroke off the lead after going round in 69.

McIlroy’s one-under 71 was not enough to make up for his opening 74 as Northern Ireland’s world number four missed a third cut in four events.

With the Open Championship taking place next week, McIlroy’s struggles have come at a bad time.

The four-time major winner had not missed successive cuts since May 2015 and briefly looked on course to survive after three birdies in an unblemished front nine.

But a double bogey at the 13th, after he needed two attempts to get out of a greenside bunker, halted his momentum.

McIlroy, who also missed the cut at last week’s Irish Open at Portstewart, needed to birdie the 18th to give himself a chance of squeezing into weekend, but he was unable to get up and down from just off the green as he missed an eight-foot putt.

“I’m frustrated but I thought I saw some good signs this week. My putting was definitely improved although my wedges were not quite there,” said McIlroy.

“I’m just waiting for something, some sort of spark, something to go right, and the last couple weeks haven’t been like that. Just got to keep plugging away and hopefully it turns around next week.”

Co-leader Harrington enjoyed a bogey-free round as he put himself on course to challenge for a first victory since October’s Portugal Masters.

England’s Shinkwin served up six birdies and two bogeys as he signed for a 68, while Germany’s Knappe carded a 65 that equalled the lowest round of the week so far.

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