Niall Lyons has previewed the Scottish Open Open, with a 50/1 headline selection
Scottish Open - Winner
The Scottish Open returns at a different time of year and no doubt will prove to be a shade more challenging than usual with colder weather forecast for this time of year. The Renaissance Club hosted last years Scottish Open and what was most notable was that 19 players finished at 17 under or better. Bernd Wiesberger, someone who has played well on numerous occasions on links before was the hard fought victor in a playoff when Hebert spurned a couple of chances of the win. As I noted a few weeks ago when backing Wolff at triple figures to a narrow defeat at the Rocket Mortgage, some recent form can be cast aside when we enter a birdie fest and not that many can be easily dismissed. This gives outsiders a much better chance. However, a Rolex event and a massive purse has produced high quality winners down the last few years so we can be assured some of the best in the field will be fully motivated. Greens here were some of the easiest to hit on the tour last year so approach play becomes more important to provide the best of birdie chances.
Robert Macintyre has had a relatively busy schedule of late but will relish the return to Scotland and this talented sort could land his maiden victory in his homeland after coming close on numerous occasions. Three runner ups were posted in 2019 and it surely won't be long before he lands a victory. 6th at Portrush in a notable positive in his short career so far, as is the 8th in Dubai earlier in the season when the wind caused havoc over the weekend. Second at Hillside is another sign that the Scot could land a victory on one of these courses. Two made cuts at the PGA and US Open as well as a top 25 at Valderrama shows us his game is in decent shape playing tough tracks. This is a lot easier and he should be quietly confident.
2.5pts each-way R.Macintyre 50/1 (1/5 7)
Victor Perez has been slightly overlooked by the market and at 55/1 rates a solid play. Having won the Dunhill Links in 2019 we found out he had set up home up there in Scotland and had we knows sooner we may have been able to put two and two together. Despite that, he was a lively runner and already playing spectacular golf. Earlier this season he finished runner up in Abu Dhabi alongside Fleetwood and Fitzpatrick and just ahead of the likes of Oosthuizen, Wiesberger and Kaymer. 31st at Valderrama sandwiched the 2 major spins missing the cut at the US Open but finishing inside the top 25 at the PGA. His game therefore, can't be too far away and where best to find it on a links track close to where he gained his maiden victory this time last year.
1.75pts each-way V.Perez 55/1 (1/5 8)
Joakim Lagergren looks an obvious contender this week despite the field being much stronger than the last couple of weeks. The Swede has been in fine form of late with a top 25 at Valderrama followed by two top 5 finishes in Vilamoura and Ballymena. He didn't do an awful lot over the weekend at Galgorm, it was just difficult to make birdies and gain ground. The main angle here is his affinity for windy golf, and links courses in particular. His only win on tour came in Sicily by the sea where the wind blows. He finished 2nd in Qatar in 2017, a venue well knows for producing links specialists. We can add three other top 5s in the Dunhill Links event in 2015,2016 and 2019. That's a fair run on form on tracks such as these and with his game in fine shape he looks a fair play around the 50/1 mark.
1pt each-way J.Lagergren 50/1 (1/5 8)
Eddie Pepperell looks worth risking at triple figures. Not only does he like a box of chocolates, but he is indeed like a box of chocolates also, you never know what you're gonna get. However, when it comes to these shores, it seems we're more likely to get Eddie with his game in shape. He won the British Masters back in 2018 in the same year he finished runner up in this event. A runner up spot at County Down, 6th at the 2018 Open and a win and top 5 in Qatar show us he loves this type of golf and can't be underestimated to produce on a relatively easy track.
1pt each-way E.Pepperell 110/1 (1/5 7)
Finally, despite plenty of reservations I shall invest a few quid once again on Thorbjorn Olesen. He has made plenty of mistakes whilst on the fringes of contention early on in events the past few weeks but nevertheless doesn't look so far away from a performance which could contend one of these events. The Dane can reach an extra level when it comes to links challenges and the later scheduling of this event could suit him. With a top ten in an Open Championship,two top 3s in Qatar and a win and a runner up finish at the Dunhill Links, Olesen has more credentials than most to play well at a birdie fest like this. 90/1 is a decent price at a venue that certainly levels the playing field a little.
1pt each-way T.Olesen 90/1 (1/5 8)