Golf preview Scottish Open preview

After a massive week of results for the Golf Insider, he brings us his Scottish Open preview.

This week we head up North and preview the action in Scotland…

The Tournament

This is now the traditional “starter” before the main course, as the Scottish Open provides a final warm-up for players looking to play well in the upcoming Open Championship. Previously the event was held at Loch Lomond (1996-2011) but, whether this is true or not, the tournament is now held on other courses to give the players better practice of links-style golf, as opposed to the more manicured and picturesque course by the shores of the famous loch. Either ways it pulls in a quality line-up, more so after Phil Mickelson bucked the trend in 2013 and did the Scottish Open-Open double for the first time in years.

The Course

This week the players are at a new course for the European Tour, it’s the Renaissance Club in North Berwick – not far from Edinburgh. The facility, designed by Tom Doak, has only been in existence since 2008 and is located on the banks of the Firth of Forth. It’s a 7,136 yard course laid out as a par 71. Naturally with any links course it draws on the surroundings for its main defence (the weather) but pot bunkers, undulating fairways and tricky greens will test the players to the maximum this week.

72-Hole Record – 265, Tim Clark (2005)

18-Hole Record – n/a

Past Winners – Brandon Stone (2018), Rickie Fowler (2017), Alex Noren (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), Justin Rose (2014).

The Field

A regulation line-up this week in Scotland of 150+ golfers. Rory McIlroy is the 13/2 favourite.

The Weather

Better day by day. The rain forecast for the four days reads 80%-60%-20%-10%, although the temperatures will stay pretty constant throughout in the mid 60s. As ever all eyes (or wet fingers!) will be on the wind speeds, and they appear to be low all week with less than 10 mph on any of the four days.

The Chances

Erik Van Rooyen  – $41 available

“I’ve banged the drum for the South African several times, and this is just the kind of event where he could break his European Tour duck. This week’s new course in Berwick should be a leveller for the whole field, and there’s enough form in the book for EVR on links courses – with a solid 4th at the Irish Open last year, Top 20 at the Open Championship – to suggest the South African will continue the tradition of golfers from his homeland and be a real threat in these types of conditions. I’m not massively concerned by an MC in Ireland last week, scores of 70-71 don’t tell the full story (he was 4-under-par after 12 holes on Day 1 before losing his way). He’s got a solid chance of challenging this week and quote of 50/1 look a shade big for me, all things considered.”

Jorge Campillo – $51 available

“There aren’t many golfers with better form over the last six months than Campillo. The talented Spaniard finally claimed his maiden title at the Trophee Hassan in Morocco after months of great golf. Since his runner-up finish in Oman his form has read 2-2-20-3-1-3-MC-MC-15-7. He’s had six Top 7 finishes from his last 10 starts which includes that victory in Morocco. After his win Campillo’s form understandably dipped after a gruelling period of non-stop contending finally took its toll. However he seems to be on the up again and after finishing 15th in Spain at the Andalucia Masters, Campillo finished 7th last week in Ireland which goes to show he can play great golf on any type of course. There is no course form to go on this week, but just looking at how Campillo has played this year, quotes of 50/1 have to be too big for the man sitting 5th in the Race to Dubai rankings.”

George Coetzee – $151 available

“Coetzee has had a relatively poor season by his standards but the signs over the last two weeks are very encouraging. Coetzee finished 26th at the Andalucia Masters at event that doesn’t suit his power game and often erratic driving, so to finish 26th was eye-catching. Last week in Ireland, Coetzee was in the Top 15 before a poor Sunday saw him finish 34th but nevertheless another promising sign for Coetzee fans. Given these two results I’m surprised to see the price about the big hitting South African, and think he’s a definite value play this week.”

Joakim Lagergren – $226 available

“Lagergren seems to come alive on links golf courses and he’s put a nice run of form together over the last five events. Last week in Ireland he finished 31st after four solid days on the links, and will arrive in Scotland full of confidence. Lagergren’s Scottish form is impressive, especially at the Alfred Dunhill Links where he’s finished 4th twice and 12th on another occasion. Last year at the Scottish Open he finished 23rd and looks a massive price to add to his excellent links resume. His form is trending in the right direction and I expect him to go well at a venue that should suit him perfectly.”

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