Rory McIlroy will look to bounce back from a surprising missed cut alongside a pair of top-ranked players this week at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Here's a look at a few marquee, early-round groupings as Dundonald hosts the final European Tour event before The Open (all times ET):
3:30 a.m. Thursday, 8:30 a.m. Friday: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler
McIlroy was quite visible last week at Portstewart, but over the weekend he served only as tournament host. The Ulsterman will look to rebound this week alongside Stenson, who has two top-10 finishes in his last three starts in Europe and will defend the claret jug next week. Fowler rounds out the popular trio following three top-5 finishes in his last four starts, including the U.S. Open.
8:10 a.m. Thursday, 3:10 a.m. Friday: Patrick Reed, Martin Kaymer, Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Reed is one of a handful of Americans in the field and has been quietly on a bit of a tear, with four straight top-20 finishes including last week at The Greenbrier. Kaymer is in search of his first worldwide top-10 finish since the Honda Classic in February, while Cabrera-Bello looks to improve upon a missed cut last week in Northern Ireland.
8:20 a.m. Thursday, 3:20 a.m. Friday: Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Adam Scott
Noren's late-season tear last year included a victory at Castle Stuart, and he returns to Scotland to defend his title after a T-10 finish at the French Open. Joining him will be Hatton, who has missed each of his last three cuts after a strong spring, and Scott, who is making his first start since an early exit from Erin Hills.
8:30 a.m. Thursday, 3:30 a.m. Friday: Matt Kuchar, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Richie Ramsay
Kuchar is another player with some momentum on his side, as he capped a run of four straight top-20 finishes with a T-16 result at the U.S. Open in his most recent start. Fitzpatrick was a runner-up last month at the Nordea Masters while Ramsay finished second last week at Portstewart to punch his ticket to The Open.