WHILE Rory McIlroy savaged the Royal Aberdeen course, York's Simon Dyson made more circumspect progress.

Dyson's opening round in the Scottish Open kept him on the level as the world number 129 finished with a 71.

Seeking a seventh European Tour crown, and at least a top three finish which would enable him to make next week's 145th The Open at Royal Liverpool, Dyson will need to bring in a heavily under-par 18 holes in today's second round.

As one of the early starters Dyson was hampered by the most testing conditions of the day at Royal Aberdeen.

He posted four pars on the spin before then firing a welcome birdie on the par-four fifth hole.

Further opportunities went begging as Dyson's customary consistency yielded four more pars.

However, his one-shot advantage was erased on the first hole for home when he carded a five on the par-four tenth. From there on Dyson was locked into an eight-hole run of pars to give him a level 71.

McIlroy, whose avowed aim was to try to win to put him in the best fettle for next week's push for the Claret Jug on Merseyside, turned in a seven-under-par 64.

Key to the Irishman's surge to the top of the leader-board was a storming run of six birdies in seven holes around the turn.