This week will be one of a few co-sanctioned tournaments between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, as the field for the Genesis Scottish Open will be a nice mix of top players from both tours. It will be a similar split between the tours stateside for the alternate event at the Barbasol Championship.
I’ll focus here on my bets for the Scottish, as many of the top players in the world are set to tee it up — including five of the top six in the current OWGR. It will set up to be quite a competitive tuneup for the final major of the year next week and should get everyone, including fans, acclimated to the time change and links-style of play.
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These weeks always provide a tough task to dig and find some players who may be lesser known stateside but can contend on these layouts. There is also always the big weather factor, as this course is set on the coast of the North Sea, making it a bit tough to project out early in the week.
Scottish Open best bets and golf picks
Collin Morikawa (28/1) — BetMGM
I was shocked to see this number listed for the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year, as he showed some really strong form the last time we saw him at the U.S. Open. If it wasn’t for a horrendous Saturday at The Country Club, we could certainly have been talking about Morikawa collecting another major championship and positioning himself to only win the Masters to complete his career Grand Slam.
Instead, he simply didn’t have it in the third round and fired a 7-over 77 to take him out of contention. It had to be a disheartening day for him, but he bounced back with one of the best rounds on the course on Sunday with a 4-under 66 to finish in the top five.
This week he heads back to the Scottish Open, an event where he made the cut but finished at the back of the field last year. It was notably the event in which he struggled with his irons and ended up making a change with them going into the Open Championship.
He won the Claret Jug that week, and I expect he will come into this week at The Renaissance Club well prepared with what he needs to do to be successful. I love the way this all sets up for Morikawa, and for me, he’s an easy play at this number.
Jordan Spieth (30/1) — BetMGM
It seems every year we go across the pond to links-style golf, Spieth is in contention. Even when he had some of his down years, he still produced strong finishes. He did so again last year, finishing runner-up to Morikawa at Royal St. George’s, making it three top 10s in his past four trips to The Open, with none outside of the top 20.
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We know Spieth is one of the more creative minds in the game, and these types of courses seem to bring that out in him. Though he hasn’t played in this event, I am giving him a lot of credit just for his overall links ability, and when I combine that with the solid odds available, he will be my second add to the card this week.
Aaron Rai (66/1) — BetMGM
If you want to take a shot down the board, there are a number of ways to go. I’ll play it a touch more conservative and take the 2020 winner of this event in Rai. His win was before the top players in the world truly infiltrated this tournament, but he still out-dueled Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff to capture the victory.
This year, Rai has done his best to make it on the PGA Tour. He’s had mixed results with a couple of top-15 finishes, with his best being a T6 from the Farmers back in January. He has gained strokes in every category tee to green across his past two tournaments. Combine his strong form with his comfort level on this course, where he has won and finished T26 last year, and I’ll take a long shot on the Englishman for another top finish at The Renaissance Club.