THERE were mixed fortunes for the two Hampshire golfers in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open today.

Stoneham’s Richard Bland enjoyed a great opening round of 67 to raise hopes of a top three finish and a place in the forthcoming British Open.

But he could only manage a 74 yesterday to fall to joint 19th, five shots off the leaders.

In contrast, north Hampshire’s Justin Rose went from woeful to title contender , carding a 68 to finish five under par and just one off the clubhouse lead shared by Scotland’s Marc Warren, Swede Kristoffer Broberg and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez, who played superbly until a double bogey on the 18th.

Rory McIlroy set a new course record of 64 at Royal Aberdeen yesterday, but as the wind changed direction so did the former world number one, who stumbled to a 78 that had him battling to make the halfway cut.

Rose, who won the Quicken Loans National at Congressional a fortnight ago, said: “I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous.

“It was like I had lost my game somewhere over the Atlantic. But the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that’s part of the reason for playing this week ahead of Hoylake.

“It was great to see the course in a completely opposite wind. The par fives are playing very easy on the front nine and there are some tough par fours on the back nine.

“I did well to hang on to my score on the back nine and made a few good six or seven-footers coming in.”