The tour’s best are back in Scotland for the first time in just over a year this week for the postponed Scottish Open. It’s the first of three Rolex Series events on the calendar in this disjointed 2020 season so there are big bucks up for grabs on Scotland’s Golf Coast…
Venue: Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland
Date: October 1-4, 2020
Course stats: Par 71; 7,343 yards
Course summary: Designed by Tom Doak in 2008, Renaissance Club is features firm, fast, undulating fairways sandwiched between deep fescue rough which will penalise players out of position. Challenging bunkers protect the greens, but the course’s main defence is the coastal winds. A lot of the scoring will depend on the behaviour of the elements, but previous links form could be vital for success here.
Purse: $7 million
Defending champion: Bernd Wiesberger (-22)
Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 11.30am
Friday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 11.30am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 11.30am
Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open: Staking Plan
Romain Langasque – 2pt e/w @ 40/1 with bet365
After winning his maiden European Tour title at the Wales Open, Langasque followed up with impressive displays on tricky courses at the Andalucia Masters and US Open. The Frenchman has a very rounded profile, ranking in the top 50 on tour for Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, and GIR percentage. A 3rd-place finish in this event last year and an Amateur Championship win at Carnoustie also point to a player who relishes the test of links golf. Based on his recent form, and his ability to successfully navigate this type of course, I am sure he will be looking to emulate John Catlin this week by winning his second European Tour title in quick succession.
Joakim Lagergren – 1.25pt e/w @ 50/1 with bet365
Lagergren has found his form again on the European Tour, with two top-five finishes in his last two events. I was close to selecting Lagergren for last week’s Irish Open, and after a solid performance I am not prepared to miss out this week. Lagergren ranks 6th on tour in SG: Approach, a key measure for success here, and clearly enjoys links golf as demonstrated by 3rd and 4th-place finishes at the Alfred Dunhill previously. This combination of strong links performances, consistent approach play, and solid recent form should give Lagergren a great chance of challenging at this week’s event, and at 50/1 he represents great value to do so.
Robert MacIntyre – 1pt e/w @ 55/1 with bet365
When NCG spoke to ‘Bob’ after his PGA Championship debut one thing was abundantly clear, the Scottish Open is the one he wants. A brief spell back in Europe was sandwiched by debut appearances at the US Open and PGA Championship, where he made the cut on both occasions in tricky conditions. A T6 finish at the Open in 2019 demonstrates an ability to play links golf successfully, and at 55/1 I am backing MacIntyre each-way to challenge for a championship that he will have built towards all year.
Sami Valimaki – 0.75pt e/w @ 80/1 with bet365
A run of three consecutive top-10 finishes came to end when Valimaki missed the cut at his US Open debut most recently, but back in Europe this week he represents excellent value. The Finnish youngster has impressed of late, most notably when runner-up in Wales, and he will surely be optimistic heading into his debut at this event. Valimaki is another player who has a very consistent game, ranking inside the top-50 for Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, GIR Percentage and Putts-Per-GIR. Without any obvious weaknesses the only question mark remaining is his suitability to links golf, but at this price I am willing to gamble on him continuing his great run of form on the European Tour.
For more prices, visit bet365.