With just one week to go until the fourth and final major of the year, the world’s best golfers are taking different approaches to preparation for the Open Championship. Many are resting up completely while others are staying on the PGA Tour to compete in the John Deere Classic.
Others, meanwhile, are getting in some more relevant practice at the Scottish Open. Both of this week’s tournaments offer a final chance to qualify for the Open itself and, in terms of strengths of fields, the Scottish Open is far more interesting.
More of the world’s best are in action at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick and the outright betting markets are led by our most recent major champion. Jon Rahm takes his place at the head of the betting and can be claimed at best odds of 8/1.
Rahm won the US Open last month and he finished inside the top eight for all three majors in 2021. He is clearly able to lift his game for the big occasion but he is also making a first appearance on the European Tour since 2019.
The closest challenger in the outright winner odds is Xander Schauffele who is at 10/1 with the majority of USA betting outlets. That may look a little short based on current form but Schauffele can have the game to suit links golf. The American makes his debut at the Scottish Open but he has the third best scoring average of anyone on the PGA Tour and the second best (behind Rahm) of anyone in this week’s field.
A gap opens up to Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa who share best odds of 14/1. Rory’s appearance was initially unplanned but the logistics of spending time at home defeated him. He fought well at the Irish Open and has shown more consistency in his most recent appearances.
Justin Thomas is next up at a general 16/1 and there has been some interest in the affable American. The concern is that JT has finished outside of the top ten in his last eight starts. However, he remains the world number three and ranks highly in stats such as Strokes Gained: Approach to the Green and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.
Also in this section of the betting are Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick at 22/1. Both of these English golfers have made inroads into the PGA Tour in the last two years and should have a chance in home conditions. Hatton has won five times on the European Tour and has three top 15 finishes in this event.
Elsewhere, Tommy Fleetwood was the runner up when the Scottish Open was run behind closed doors in 2020. He is attracting interest this week but has a tendency to produce one high round that ruins his overall card.
Other names to consider here include Scottie Scheffler at 28/1, Will Zalatoris at 35/1 and Christiaan Bezuidenhout at 35/1.
Some of the names among the longshots may not be so familiar to American readers but Bernd Wiesberger has tried his hand stateside. The Austrian is our first former champion, having won the Scottish Open in a playoff two years ago.
Branden Grace, Garrick Higgo and Sam Burns are also available at 40/1 while Robert MacInytre follows at 50/1. We have mentioned before that Higgo is one to watch for the future and the same applies to Scotland’s own MacIntyre. A left hander, he tied for 12th at the Masters and should be in contention for a single digit finish at the very least.
Other outsiders who could challenge the top 10 include Martin Kaymer at 50/1, Ian Poulter at 55/1 and Lucas Herbert at 55/1. Kaymer has made a welcome return to form recently while Australian Herbert is the most recent winner in Europe, having claimed the Irish Open by three strokes on Sunday.
Our Scottish Open Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Advice
Hosting duties have been fairly fluid since this tournament began in 1972 with the current venue taking over for the last three editions. The Renaissance Club in North Berwick offers classic links golf on a par 71 course which measures some 7,136 yards.
The Renaissance has been lengthened in recent years and the fairways narrowed but scoring remains relatively low and generally comes in at an average below 69. Since this event was switched from Muirfield in 2019, distance and driving accuracy stats have been largely irrelevant. Putting has been important as has Par 5 scoring.
Strokes Gained statistics could play a part this year and that is one of the reasons why we are looking to get behind Justin Thomas. Form is the obvious concern but he is certain to find his touch before long and maybe the break from the PGA Tour is what he needs.
Thomas for the win is the main tip but there are three other strong top 10 suggestions for what should be a thrilling four days of action on Scotland’s West Coast.
So these are our Scottish Open predictions for this preview:
- Justin Thomas to win @ best odds of +2000 (20/1) with Bookmaker.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (odds from BetOnline in brackets): JT (+175), Robert MacIntyre (+350), Branden Grace (+300) and Tyrrell Hatton (+200).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.