ABERDEEN -- Three years after virtually giving up on links golf, a more mature Rory McIlroy appears ready to give it another chance. Chuck Foreman Womens Jersey . McIlroy tamed blustery conditions on day one of the Scottish Open to shoot a 7-under 64 on Thursday, giving him a one-stroke lead and showing his links game is in great shape ahead of next weeks British Open at Hoylake. "I feel I am as prepared as I have ever been to play this type of golf," a smiling McIlroy said after rolling in eight birdies -- six of which came in a stunning seven-hole spell from Nos. 8-14 at Royal Aberdeen. How things have changed from 2011. At a wet and wild British Open at Royal St. Georges that year, a frustrated McIlroy opened his heart, saying he wasnt a fan of tournaments where the "outcome is predicted so much by the weather" and that "theres no point in changing your game for one week a year." Coming from someone who grew up playing on the links in his native Northern Ireland, it was a strange outburst. That seems to be in the past now. "Im going to make it my favourite style for two weeks a year," said McIlroy, adding he was "relishing the challenge" of playing in the wind and rain. Unheralded Swede Kristoffer Broberg -- who went out in the first group at 6:30 a.m. local time -- and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina shot 65s to lie one shot behind McIlroy. Michael Hoey, a compatriot of McIlroy, was a stroke further back after a 5-under 66, and former world No. 1 Luke Donald was among four players to shoot 67. Phil Mickelson missed a 3-foot par putt at the final hole for his only bogey in a 68, a solid start by the American to the defence of his title. McIlroys course-record round stood out, though. Refreshed after a two-week break that included a five-day trip to the Spanish island of Ibiza with friends, the two-time major winner looked back to his sharpest. He showed a good feel on the greens, especially in that barrage of birdies around the turn, and drove straight and long in the face of winds of up to 20 mph (30 kph). One of the highlights of his round was driving the green on the 436-yard 13th hole while the group ahead was on the putting surface. "I didnt really think that was out there," American golfer Rickie Fowler said of McIlroys score. Ominously for his British Open rivals, McIlroy said he felt completely at one with his game, the "polar opposite" to this time last year when he was "not very confident with anything." "Everything was pretty much on," he said. "In the conditions, this is as low as I have ever been." McIlroy has had problems backing up good opening rounds this season, so there is still hope for the rest of the field in northern Scotland. Up at 4 a.m. local time, Broberg showed the kind of form that won him four events on the second-tier Challenge Tour in 2012, earned him his tour card, and marked him as a star of the future. Five of his six birdies came from Nos. 6-12 and Broberg had just 24 putts in his round, putting him in contention to claim one of the four qualifying berths for the British Open that are available at Royal Aberdeen for non-exempt players finishing in the top 10. Gonzalez made light work of a front nine playing into the wind, and was 8 under par after an eagle 3 at No. 12. Two bogeys at the end saw him drop off the lead. Mickelsons round was typically eventful. A chip to 10 feet from a cart path at No. 13 was his shot of the day, while the British Open champion avoided a penalty on the 10th when his ball moved on his backswing for his second shot. A sharp gust of wind was to blame. Lee Westwood recovered from dropping five shots in his first five holes to post a 72, and six-time major winner Nick Faldo, playing his first regular European Tour event since 2010, had a 2-over 73 as he gets ready for a return to the British Open. Tom Lewis made a hole in one on the par-3 No. 17 on his way to a 70. Adrian Peterson Jersey .C. -- The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday theyve signed free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, helping rebuild a depleted wide receiving corps. Dalvin Cook Youth Jersey .C. -- Marcus Paige and his North Carolina teammates have endured so many wild swings -- big wins, surprising losses, NCAA drama -- that no one can blame their Hall of Fame coach for wondering whats next. http://www.thevikingsshoponline.com/Youth-Alan-Page-Vikings-Jersey/ . Ferrer was unable to find his rhythm in losing 6-4, 6-2 to Teymuraz Gabashvili in his opening match while Nadal struggled past fellow Spanish player Albert Ramos 7-6 (2), 6-4. Nadal eventually overcame his 103rd-ranked opponent to reach the third round, rebounding from a surprise loss to Ferrer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals.Aston Villa have completed the sale of the club to the Recon Group, a day after its owner Tony Xia passed the Premier League and Football Leagues fit and proper person test. The Chinese businessman bought the Sky Bet Championship club in May from American Randy Lerner, who had been looking to sell up since 2014.Xia needed to pass the customary test for his takeover of the club to be completed and it was understood on Monday that the 39-year-old had been given the green light and was in the UK to complete Villas acquisition. A statement on the clubs website on Tuesday afternoon read: Aston Villa is delighted to confirm the sale of the club.. Who is the new Villa owner? All you need to know about Dr Tony Xia The completion of 100 per cent ownership from Randy Lerner has been rubber-stamped by the Football League.Dr Xia has been informed he passed the owners and directors test and following the completion of paperwork, is now the Clubs new owner and chairman. A new board will be appointed later this week. New Aston Villa owner Tony Xia revealed the club will have £30-40m to invest in new players Investigations into Xias conglomerate, Recon Group, were carried out jointly by the Premier League and Football League as Villa, relegated from the top-flight this season, did not officially become a Championship club until June. Adrian Peterson Youth Jersey. On May 18, when the sale of the club was first announced pending the fit and proper tests, Villa said that their new owner decided to buy an iconic football club in England as the cornerstone of his Sports, Leisure and Tourism Division.Their statement added: He became a fan of Aston Villa many years ago and is delighted at the opportunity to become the new owner. Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Clarke will link up at Villa Dr Xias immediate objective is to return Aston Villa to the Premier League and then to have the club finish in the top six, bringing European football back to Villa Park.He plans to make Aston Villa the most famous football club in China with a huge fan base.Villa appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager on a two-year contract on June 3, with the Italian then securing the services of Steve Clarke, sacked as Reading boss in December, as his assistant. Also See: Di Matteo is new Aston Villa boss Who is Tony Xia? Villa can be worlds most famous Villa takeover completed ' ' '