Our in-form tipster has four picks for the Gullane event.
Gullane in East Lothian takes hosting duties once again for the Scottish Open having staged one of the best editions of this event in recent memory in 2015. Rickie Fowler ended up on top that year during a blustery final day which saw two americans, Fowler and Kuchar make the 1-2.
The course was the winner that week proving extremely tricky to score well on. They earned those double figures under par scores and the same will be likely this time around. The weather is a lot more favourable this year but as we saw in Ireland last week that doesn't necessarily mean very low scores.
The links courses are scorched with recent weather and play very hard and fast whilst the rough is almost non existent it hasn't received the water it needs to grow into a problem for wayward golfers. From the states of that event in 2015 scrambling and putting proved very important with the top 3 in the event scoring very high in those departments.
Unsurprisingly Rose and RICKIE FOWLER top the market both around the 10/1 mark top price. Both are fair prices and I wouldn't blame anyone for having a few shillings on these lads to perform this week. Fowler in particular has a great record on these tracks and a pedigree and hunger to win on these tests.
He will be throwing everything at the Open Championship after his runner up finish at the Masters and has been solid enough recently to warrant support. As much as I wanted to concentrate on the juicier prices this week I have been too tempted by the prowess of Fowler around these tracks.
He has won here back in 2015 and also has a win in Abu Dhabi on the European Tour meaning he has a solid win to run ratio when travelling to the European Tour. Two more top ten finishes in this event and two top five finishes in the Open tell us all we need to know about Fowler's capabilities around tests like these. He rates a lot better bet than Rose to me at the same price and I'm happy to punt Rickie this week to bolster the bank before the third major of the year next week.
3pts each-way R.Fowler 11/1 (1/5 7)
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA (best price 22-1) has spent most of this year struggling to find his game but there have been very positive signs lately that it has turned around. 16th at the Memorial was followed by 13th at the Byron Nelson and most recently posted a top 20 finish in the US Open.
Signs are definitely improving and I think his talents best suit a links test and the British Open Championship is the most likely he will win. Links form has always been solid enough. In only 5 attempts on links in the Open he has posted a 6th placed finish and a further two top 20s.
He has looked at home on these shores and warmer conditions may just be enough to give him his best chance of success thus far in Europe. On a course where putting and scrambling looks so important I would worry about him usually, but 7th in putting at the Memorial and 35th in the US Open is enough evidence for me to park that worry for this week.
His three most recent performances have been very solid and if he was coming here in the peak of his powers he would be close to favourite here. Given his play lately we will take the chance that he is nearing those peaks once again.
2pts each-way H.Matsuyama 22/1 (1/5 6)
Although THOMAS PIETERS (best price 66-1) hasn't shown an awful lot of form on links courses I do believe he is probably entering the most prolific part of his season.
There were a lot of inconsistencies earlier in the year but this has been dealt with and four made cuts on the trot on tricky courses and his worst finish being 41st in that period I think he is turning a corner.
He is now an experienced sort who has featured in the Ryder Cup so his name wouldn't look out of place on this ever growing list of superstars on the Rolex Series roll of honour. Overall I think his price is worth chancing despite not setting the world alight lately.
1pt each-way T.Pieters 66/1 (1/5 8)
I will also take a chance with DANNY WILLETT (best price 100-1) after a lot of positive signs lately that his best is returning. Many great golfers down the years have suffered slumps only to come back stronger after some really hard graft and there is no doubt Willett has put the graft in these last few months to get back where he belongs.
He gave everything last week in Ireland and maybe just a lack of match practice in contention lately was enough to render him just a bit short at the business end. Nevertheless that is two top tens in his last four starts with his 8th place posted a few weeks back in Italy.
He isn't one i necessarily look to for a scrambling test but he did more than ok last week and I wasn't expecting any bigger than 66/1 out there this week. A shade of value.