Although he only turned pro in 2016, the 22-year-old has a victory this year, seven top 10s and is the World No.12. He missed the cut last week but was the halfway leader back in 2013 and arrives in better form than his price suggests.
Rahm however managed to bounce back from that bogey with two birdies in his next three holes to move within one shot of the 36-hole lead at Portstewart.
Justin Rose, who is ranked a couple of places below Rahm, also fired a 65 while world No15 Tommy Fleetwood signed for a two-under 70.
McGinley went on to discuss the extra pressures McIlroy faces.
The Holywood hotshot said: "I felt like I was swimming against the stream. But a former player that has won a major and been successful, that's why it got to me and why I retaliated".
McIlroy tees off at 1.20 this afternoon with some low scores making it look like a competitive field.
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"But selfishly, I'd like to be up there with them".
"I'm very happy I get to watch the Lions All Blacks match".
Danny Higginbotham Big, strong, quick.
As for McIlroy, he was at least moving in the right direction on Friday at two under par for 13 holes.
"I hit two really good shots into the par five but I was still asleep", explained Donaldson, who was 25th in the world when he secured the winning point in the 2014 Ryder Cup, but has since slipped to 231st.
See the 14 TaylorMade clubs and ball the...
Maybe he should have had a word with Spanish sensation Rahm.
With eight of the last ten winners hailing from GB and Ireland I expect that trend to continue and I'm backing Lowry as one of my picks.
"I don't think I would compete as a professional golfer if I had broken the elbow", Harrington added.
"I was able to adjust, and starting the way I started with two ideal shots to two feet for birdie, it gives me a lot of confidence. Like I said, I haven't played my best golf yet, so I really surprised myself to put myself in this position", he told the News Letter.
He added "Hopefully, I can join in the fun with a low round".
But he dropped his third shot of the day at the short sixth - his 15th - and he then came up short with his wedge approach to the eighth and took four more to get down, the resulting double-bogey six ending his chances of playing over the weekend. "It's a few putts dropping here or there, it's a few up-and-downs.... I'm really excited and I know it will be a great week".style="text-align: center;"