European Tour, Scottish Open Preview
By Ryan Hamilton – @Golftipster5
After last weeks wire to wire victory by Lucas Herbert is time to go across the Irish sea to North Berwick for the Scottish Open. The event that has in the past few years always come the week before The Open. The Tour gets an influx of players from the PGA Tour looking to fine tune in their games ready for next week. The Scottish open is one of 4 events on the Tour schedule which are Rolex events offering double race to Dubai points & a nice $8,000,000 Purse to go with it. Its’s the 2nd Rolex Event of the year after Tyrell Hatton won the 1st at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. As one of the flagship events on the Tour players will be looking to add their names to the impressive list of winners including Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose & Martin Kaymer. Phil is the only player in the last 15 years to win the Scottish Open & then The Open the following Week.
The Renaissance Club is hosting this week for the 3rd year in a row. The Tom Doak designed course measures 7293 yards & plays as a par 71. The 71 is made up of 5 par3s,9 pars 4s & 4 par 5s. Previous years have seen Aaron Rai & Bernd Wiesberger come out victorious with scores of -11 & -22. Scoring last year was a lot lower than 2019 mainly because of the weekend weather, a lot of players struggling in the torrential rain. I can remember players uploading pictures on their socials of soak yardage books as well as clothes & Bags all drying out. Last year’s Scottish open was held in October & not July like 2019 & this year so the Autumn downpour of last year should be missed. Current forecast is set to be cloudy with a gentle breeze so the Tour could test players with pin positions if the conditions allow it.
Previous winners – Course in Brackets
2020 – Arron Rai – Score -11 (Renaissance)
2019 – Bernd Wiesberger – Score -22 (Renaissance)
2018 – Brandon Stone – Score -20 (Gullane)
2017 – Rafa Cabrera-Bello – Score -13 (Dundonald)
2016 – Alex Noren – Score -14 (Castle Stewart)
Tyrell Hatton 20-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
After winning the 1st event of the Rolex series back in January, Hatton will be looking to add the Scottish open to his resume. 4 of his 6 European Tour wins have been part of the Rolex Series. In 2019 he finished 14th on this course shooting 70-66-64-67 so he is more than capable of going low here. He has played most of the season in America & ranks one the best players tee to green in 15th. His strokes gained off the tee he ranks 20th & approach to the green 11th. It’s the flatstick that has been letting him down. He was interviewed a few weeks ago saying he was going to try a new one if his final round didn’t go well because he had putting so badly. Even with this he still ranks as one of the best putters on the PGA Tour this year, his average putts per round is 28.29 which is 13th on Tour. I thought he would have been considerably lower in the market this week so at 20-1 he was an easy click. Current form reads MC-2-38-39-18
Bernd Wiesberger 40-1 SkyBet 8 Places
The 2019 champion comes into this event full of confidence after a win at the Made in Himmerland just 4 starts ago & a top 5 in the BMW in his last start. He finished 48th in his defence last year but considering the course plays completely different from July to October he can go back to conditions that saw him victorious in 2019. Another player who hits lots of greens, 70.99% ranks him 16th on Tour this year, he is ranked as one of the shorter hitters on Tour, not that 295yards is short but he gets it in play 54.94% of the time which will be key this week to getting a good score. Current form reads 5-MC-40-1-MC
Branden Grace 40-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
A winner already stateside this year looks to add to his 9 European Tour wins this week. He has a love for the Scottish links winning the Alfred Dunhill Link Championship & a 2nd place in the Scottish open in 2013. With his ability to hit the Low Drives he can drill some Bullets down the fairway this week & get plenty of run down the fairway. Graces form in the past year seems to have coincided with him adding Lee Warne as his permanent Caddy on the bag who previously had plenty of wins & experience with Alex Noren. All Graces stats are very similar to the average on the PGA Tour with nothing standout for being good or bad. Current form reads 7-4-WD-38-54
Guido Migliozzi 55-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
Guido is fast becoming a fan favourite with many people. His passion alone is worth a watch, everyone saw his 4-fist pump reaction at the US Open when he drained a mega putt on his way to his 4th Place finish. His form this year has been excellent it’s just missing a win. In his last 4 starts he has had two 2nd places at the Made in HimmerLand & British Masters which has him ranked 8th in the race to Dubai standings. He ranks 15th in greens in regulation this year & has a stroke average of 69.19 which ranks 8th on Tour. All ammo he can use this week to get his 1st Victory since the Belgium Knockout in 2019. Current form reads 13-4-2-2-MC.
Andrew Johnston 66-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
Beef continued his fine form last week with another top 10 finish at the Irish Open just one shot of placing for our bet last week. Like his bogey avoidance last week, he again did very well on bogey avoidance this week with just 5 all week so in his last 144 holes he has only had 11 dropped shots. He had 3 rounds in the 60s last week & his highest round was still a very respectable 70. In 2019 Beef hit 83.33% of greens in regulation when he finished 4th helped with a final round 62. He didn’t come into the 2019 event in much form so this year with his 3 top15 finishes in his last 5 events he can build on 2019 & bring home his 2nd European Tour victory. Current form reads 9-14-MC-17-4
Victor Perez 150-1 Paddy Power 8 Places
Victor Perez will look to cement his place in Team Europe this week. He has very good form in Scotland, He won the Alfred Dunhill back in 2019 & his last 2 Scottish opens he has finished 14th & 28th so improving each time he has played. He has been playing stateside since the Saudi International where he had a good Players Championship & WGC Match Play but has struggled since missing 4 cuts. The Scottish Open is also now a home event for him as he moved to Scotland just a few years ago so he can count on home comforts this week. His form on European Tour soil was solid before the stateside adventure which if you go back to the BMW PGA at Wentworth, he had 3 top 10 finishes in 7 starts which is why he is so high in the Ryder Cup list. Current form Reads MC-MC-MC-MC-4
Lucas Herbert – 55-1 Fresh off a wire to wire victory I was saving Lucas for this week rather than last week as he came 4th here last year but it’s doubtful, he can go back to back.
Jason Scrivener – 100-1 A 3rd top 10 in 4 starts last week but still looking for his 1st European Tour win.
Calum Hill 150-1 – Another player in fine form this year but again still awaiting the 1st victory on Tour. 4 top 10s this season in 13 starts.
Good Luck with all Bets