Scottish Open Odds: Quick Picks For Final Open Championship Tune-Up

Nine of the top 10 players in the world are teeing it up

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It’s officially coffee golf season, as the PGA Tour opens the European swing with the Scottish Open this week.

Ahem, make that the Genesis Scottish Open, which tees off Thursday morning from The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. It’s also shaping up to be a fascinating event, with nine of the world’s top 10 players in the field. And not only will it serve as a tune-up for next week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews, there’s the LIV backdrop with a handful of players from the renegade, Saudi-backed breakaway tour getting injunctions to make the start.

As for the course itself, Renaissance is a relatively new track despite being nestled in the historic, golf-rich country of Scotland. In fact, the course was built by Americans.

PGATour.com put it best in its course preview, saying, “The Reinassance Club is not an American-influenced course in Scotland, but a tribute to Scottish golf that was created by Americans.”

The Scottish Open, though, dates back to 1972. Renaissance has hosted the national tournament since 2019, a stretch that includes a fall stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Interestingly, all three Renaissance-hosted tournaments have gone to a playoff, including Min Woo Lee’s win over Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick last year.

As for how the course plays, a lot of that comes down to the wind. When it doesn’t blow, it’s a very gettable course. The average winning score in the last three years is 17-under. While projecting the forecast at a waterside course can be tricky, early indications are it will be another calm week. That means it could be another week with scores approaching 20-under.

The course plays as a par-70 measuring a little longer than 7,200 yards.

Now that we’ve got a little bit of background, here are some picks for this week with odds via DraftKings Sportsbook:

Favorite to back — Justin Thomas (+1400): He continues to be one of the best, most consistent players in the world, and he has all the skills to win at a place like this. The ball-striking will play even if the wind kicks up, and he’s among the many players who might benefit most from the slower Scottish greens. His around-the-green creativity lends itself well to a links-ier style of play, and there’s not a shot he can’t hit.

Favorite to fade — Will Zalatoris (+2200): This is slightly tongue-in-cheek. Zalatoris is a bounce or three away from being in the middle of one of the greatest seasons the sport has ever seen. But if he’s going to break through and finally win at the highest level, it fits our narrative better for him to get a major next week at the Open.

First-round leader — Max Homa (+7000): If his social media channels are any indication, Homa is having himself a blast in Europe right now. He sets up very well for success here, too. There are two par-5s of at least 543 yards on the card, and Homa ranks first in the field on long par-5s over the last 12 rounds. He’s also top-20 on Tour in first-round scoring average. Add it all up, and you’ve got a chance for him to get red-hot early.

Long shot to watch — Ian Poulter (+25000): Chaos! Poulter is one of the LIV golfers who got in with the injunction and looking at past results, it’s easy to see why he wants to be in the mix. Poulter’s three finishes at Renaissance were tied for 14th, tied for sixth and tied for fourth. The form admittedly isn’t great right now, as he beat only five players last week at the LIV stop in Portland. Be that as it may, Poulter’s best work has come in the Ryder Cup where the pressure is on, and you have to imagine he’ll want to show out after fighting to just get into the field. DraftKings also has an enticing 16-1 number on him to be the top Great Britain/Ireland player, too.

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