The PGA TOUR and DP World Tour come together in North Berwick, Scotland, for the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. The field of 156 will have one final start before the fourth and final major championship next week at Royal Liverpool.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+700) highlights eight of the top 10 in the OWGR teeing it up this week on the Firth of Forth, and he starts the week as the outright betting favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook. The Texan will look to avenge one of his two MCs from the last calendar year after 73-72 (MC) last July. His first visit in 2021 saw him adapt quickly, posting 14-under the final 54 holes (T12) after opening with 72. Scrambling to find form before the final major off the season will not be an issue. His streak of top-10 finishes has reached six, and his run of T12 or better hit 17 straight after T4 at Travelers.
It is hardly a surprise that Rory McIlroy (+750) is hot on the heels of Scheffler as the second choice. The winner at Royal Liverpool in 2014 rolls into East Gullane on the back of five consecutive top-10 paydays. The Ulsterman used The Renaissance Club for prep twice in the last three years but has only shared 34th in 2019 and MC in 2021.
The Renaissance Club, the par-70 (7,237-yard) layout designed in 2006 by Tom Doak, returns to challenge the best from both Tours for the fifth consecutive season. Reigning champion Xander Schauffele (+1400) might not be the first name on the board, but he cashed in the top 10 (Win, T10) from his only two starts from the last two years. After an opening 72 in 2022, he settled in, posting the low round of the day Friday (65) and followed it with the co-low round-of-the-day on Saturday (66). With four top-10 paydays from his last seven, the San Diegan will arrive well-rested after defending at the Travelers the week after U.S. Open.
Making his first appearance in North Berwick last season, Patrick Cantlay (+1400) was a quick study of the links course right next door to Muirfield. Rounds of even-par 70 kept him in the conversation before 69-67 on the weekend vaulted him to solo fourth. The 2023 portion of the schedule has been bountiful in every category besides winning. The last 14 events have resulted in 13 paydays with ten cashing T19 or better. With tight driving holes and tricky greens to putt, he should feel right at home again this year.
One of the few players at the top of the board who has played recently is Rickie Fowler (+1600). The Rocket Mortgage ambassador won a three-man playoff two weeks ago in Detroit to pick up his first victory since the 2019 WM Phoenix Open. Making just his second start at The Renaissance Club after T47 last year, Fowler won this event in 2015 just down the road at Gullane Golf Club. After enjoying time at Wimbledon last weekend, he’ll be looking to extend his run of top-25 finishes to 13 from 16 events.
After the magic month of May, Viktor Hovland (+1800) cooled in June by his lofty standards. The winner at the Memorial and joint runner-up at the PGA Championship claimed T19 at the U.S. Open, followed by T29 at the Travelers. Major championship links golf has produced T12 at Royal St George’s followed by T4, his best result in a major championship at that time, last summer at St Andrews. Missing the cut here last summer the week prior didn’t bother him!
Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000) contends annually in every July event since the move in 2019. One of only five players to cash in all four editions here, the 2020 October edition was the only one he didn’t land in the top 15 (T47). Placing T14 in the first edition, the 2022 U.S. Open champ was knocked out in 2021 in a playoff by Min Woo Lee (+3500). Last season a second-round 66, the second-best of the day from the field, was the highlight of a T6 payday. Anytime the weather is less than perfect, which is entirely possible this week and next, his game rises.
The champion golfer at Royal Birkdale in 2017, Jordan Spieth (+2200) made his debut here last year. Posting rounds of 68 and 66 in Rounds 1 and 3, the other two rounds of 72 pushed him to a share of 10th place. Links golf fits his eye and creative side as he’s never MC in nine Open Championships. One of the most rested of the favorites, the Texan hasn’t played since MC at the U.S. Open in mid-June.
Tommy Fleetwood (+2200) looks for his third top-four payday on his fourth visit. Making his first attempt in the fall of 2020, compatriot Aaron Rai (+6600) knocked him off in a playoff. An opening round of 73 forced him to play catch-up last year. Posting three rounds in the 60s over the final 54 holes, his quest to win fell short and into a tie for fourth. The Englishman, who will be playing close to home next week, heats up annually this time of year, and his P2 in Canada and T5 at the U.S. Open suggests he’s right on schedule.
The British summer is busy with Wimbledon, The Ashes, the British Grand Prix. The time is now for major golf to join on stage. Englishman Tyrrell Hatton (+2500) is on a run of eight straight T34 or better, with five of the last six inside T15. The stars also align this week in North Berwick as he plays the July event for the fourth time, with the previous three registering T24 or better. One of the best putters anywhere will enjoy the challenge of navigating the difficult greens and will look to improve on T4 in 2019 as his best result.
There’s also another TOUR event this week, as the Barbasol Championship returns to Kentucky for the fifth installment since 2018. Long-hitting Taylor Pendrith (+1600) is the betting favorite at BetMGM, followed by Vincent Norrman (+2000) and former U.S. Open champ Lucas Glover (+2000). Having gone from Monday qualifier to special temporary PGA TOUR member in the span of two weeks, Peter Kuest (+2500) is among the top contenders to get into the winner’s circle at Keene Trace Golf Club.
Here’s a look at some of the other notable odds in Scotland, where several big names will look to hone their links acumen – including U.S. Open champ Wyndham Clark (+4000), who makes his first start since his breakthrough win last month at LACC:
+4000: Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Shane Lowry
+4500: Tom Kim, Sungjae Im
+5000: Adam Scott, Sam Burns
+5500: Corey Conners, Ludvig Aberg
+6600: Aaron Rai, Adrian Meronk, Alex Smalley, Rasmus Hojgaard, Sahith Theegala
+8000: Lucas Herbert, Brian Harman, Gary Woodland, Kurt Kitayama, Ryan Fox
+10000: Alex Noren, Alexander Bjork, Nicolai Hojgaard, Robert MacIntyre, Seamus Power, Brandon Wu, Keith Mitchell
How it works (Scottish Open):
• Field of 156 players
• The top 65 players and ties will play the final two rounds
• Entered are the top eight players of the OWGR top 10, plus 20 of the top 30
• Purse of $9 million with $1.62 million to the winner, along with 500 FedExCup points
Circle back tomorrow as I post more details in Horses for Courses plus the Betting Stat Pack.
Source : PGA Tour