The Scottish Open | European Tour | 12th - 15th July | 07:00 | Castle Stuart Golf Links
The Scottish Open has been a fixture on the European Tour for years now, but over the past two years major changes have been made. For the past ten years Barclays Capital had been the main sponsors, however it must now be getting a bit costly for them as a new sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, has taken over. This change in sponsor was preceded last year by a change in course. Traditionally the tournament was held at Loch Lomond Golf Club but the layout there did not suitably prepare contestants for the upcoming Open Championship so the decision was made to move to Castle Stuart Golf Links. The poor weather at the event last year meant only 54 holes were played so it’s tough to look into course form but keep in mind that Luke Donald did win with a massive -19. The par 72 7, 193 yard course is going to see some low scores this week though, so look forward to seeing some great golf. Who will win this one? Let’s try find out.
Luke Donald 15/2
Padraig Harrington 14/1
Francesco Molinari 20/1
Ross Fisher 20/1
Ernie Els 22/1
Ernie Els 22/1
Louis Oosthuizen 28/1
George Coetzee 50/1
Branden Grace 50/1
Padraig Harrington (14/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
Harrington has finally hit some form and he will be a force to be reckoned with over the next few months. With the Open coming up soon he’s going to be looking to get as many good rounds under his belt as possible and with the game he’s playing at the moment there’s no reason he won’t go close here. A 4th place finish in the US Open was followed by a hard fought 7th at the Irish Open, so the confidence will be there. He also knows his way around a links course. Each way here is the bet for me.
Martin Laird (33/1 a win, 83/10 a place)
I can’t ignore the Scotsman this year as he’ll be looking to put in a good performance in front of his home crowd. He’s made the move from the US to European PGA tours for this one and despite having a pretty dismal season so far he has managed to right his game over the last month. A 2nd at the Players is nothing to turn your nose up and if he carries on improving there’s no reason he won’t go close here. Again, I’m backing Laird for wins and places.
Ernie Els (22/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Ernie Els can’t be ignored this week, he loves playing in Scotland way too much. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the quality of whiskey to be found in town but he has won this one three times. As I said earlier though, this is only the second time the tournament will be played on this course but he did manage to perform last year and in the three rounds played he shot under 70 for each. A run of form has seen him finish in the top 10 in the BMW PGA and US Open. Hopefully this is his time to shine and snatch a win.
TOP BET: Luke Donald (15/2 a win, 19/10 a place)
I have to back Luke Donald here this week. The talented Englishman won convincingly last year despite only playing three rounds and two victories so far this season show he has what it takes to lift the trophy again. Without Lee Westwood or Rory McElroy making an appearance, this time around the competition is not as stiff as it could be and a win will help make it more difficult for the pretenders to take his world number one ranking. If that’s not motivation then I don’t know what is. Expect a massive showing from Donald in this one.