Scottish Open betting tips and preview
Venue: Gullane Golf Club, East Lothian, Scotland
Date: July 12-15, 2018
Course stats: Par 70; 7,133 yards
Purse: $7 million (£5.3m)
Defending champion: Rafa Cabrera Bello (-13)
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Scottish Open preview
The Scottish Open is always a highlight of the golfing calendar, and this year is no different as plenty of worldwide stars descend onto the links to squeeze in last minute preparation ahead of next week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
The tournament heads back to Gullane, the site of the 2015 renewal where Rickie Fowler edged out compatriot Matt Kuchar with a thrilling birdie at the final hole.
Justin Rose headlines the field, but Fowler is back to try and win back his title alongside fellow Americans Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Kuchar, while there’s also a spot for the Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama.
The recent fine weather in Britain looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, so expect Gullane to be baked with conditions on the fiery side.
Scottish Open betting tips
It’s always interesting to see how the PGA Tour players fare when teeing it up on the European Tour, particularly from a betting point of view. The bookmakers seem to have got the majority of prices spot on, but I can’t help but feel that Charley Hoffman (60/1, 8 places) is well overpriced.
This will be his first start in this event, but he’s no stranger to golf in Scotland and indeed links courses having played in seven Open Championships, with a best finish of 20th last year at Royal Birkdale.
Hoffman has had an up and down year, but he’s always been a player that often raises his game for the big events, and as he enters this week off the back of two top-20 finishes at the US Open and Travelers Championship, I suspect he’ll relish this fair-weather test among stout opposition.
At bigger odds, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin (150/1, 8 places) is a links specialist and all the signs point to a big week here at Gullane.
It’s been a year to forget for Jacquelin, but ever since finishing third at the Shot Clock Masters last month, his game seems to have improved dramatically.
It was no surprise to see him pick up a top-10 last week – on a links course – at the Irish Open, and he’ll be entering this week with plenty of confidence knowing that Gullane is a venue that holds fond memories.
Indeed, three years ago Jacquelin was just edged out by Fowler to the title, and had to settle for a tie for second place alongside Kuchar.
Having hit the most greens in regulation in the field last week, he looks primed to go well, and has to be a bet at a triple-figure price.
Finally, Ashley Chesters (200/1, 8 places) has every chance of outrunning his huge odds.
The 28-year-old has been playing some fine golf in recent weeks after sparking to form in Austria last month.
The last two starts – both Rolex Series events – have yielded two top-21 finishes in incredibly strong fields.
The Englishman is at his best on the links; you may remember Chesters finishing 12th at the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews when still an amateur.
With strong memories in Scotland, he’s likely to give us a good run for our money.