It’s easy to back the favourite, but sometimes there’s a compelling reason to do so. That seems to be the case with Rickie Fowler (8/1) at the Scottish Open this week.

The American won this event in 2015, didn’t return to defend his crown 12 months ago, but is back and heads to Dundonald in good form.

Take out a missed cut in the FedEx St Jude Classic and Fowler’s recent run reads tied 2nd, tied 5th and tied 3rd.

Now one of those was the US Open where it can be argued Fowler should have made a much better job of the final round.

Scottish Open


Questions over how he performs in contention will continue to surface until he gets over the hump in a major.

But, here, I prefer to focus on some considerable links form. This includes a tied 8th on his first appearance at the Scottish Open in 2014, a tied 5th in the Open at Royal St George’s in 2011 and tied 2nd behind Rory McIlroy at Hoylake in 2014.

With Dundonald providing Fowler with his links ‘warm up’ before Royal Birkdale, I expect him to be in tip-top shape.

Some firms are paying a quarter of the odds up to six places. It would be disappointing if Fowler isn’t in the frame.

Scottish Open

Anyone noticing Andy Sullivan (45/1) playing himself back into form over the last few weeks? It had been a lean time for the Englishman since finishing third in the Nedbank Golf Challenge last November.

Three top 20s in four starts, though, including a tied-20th last week in Ireland, are encouraging  for a player who has enjoyed himself in links settings.

While never in the frame at Royal Troon last year, he was still in the top 20. He also finished just outside the top 5 at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Open 12 months ago.

Olympic dropouts


Ring rust is my main concern with Branden Grace (28/1), with the South African not having played any tournament golf since the US Open nearly a month ago.

His tied 9th at Wentworth was eye-catching and we know he likes this tournament, having lost a play-off to Phil Mickelson in 2013.

At 28/1, though, there is enough in the price to take a punt.