Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour: Scottish Open Preview

European Tour: Scottish Open Preview

Jason Day putts

We take a look at this week's Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open which takes place at the Renaissance Club.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

European Tour 2020
Rolex Series
Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open
The Renaissance Club, Dirleton, North Berwick
1st-4th October 

John Catlin was tremendous down the stretch in Ireland, picking up his second title of the season after that Valderrama bloodbath. This old beast of an event dates back to 1935, though its history is a chequered one. It was obsolete after the initial two events in 1935 and 1936, reappearing in 1972. It then vanished again only to be established as a regular fixture on the tour in 1986. It has oft preceded the Open Championship, enticing high-quality fields, eager to hone their links skills in hopes of Major glory. This was exacerbated in recent years by its newfound Rolex Series status. Clearly, 2020 had other plans for the world- let alone golf. This will now be the first of four Rolex Series events. With the cancellation of the Open Championship, this represents the pinnacle of links golf on the European calendar. 

The Renaissance Club was designed by Tom Doak and opened as recently as 2008. It is situated next door to Muirfield and retains much of the unkempt beauty of the Scottish Highlands. The dramatic backdrop of the Firth of Forth gives the course a rugged beauty comparable with any of the top links tests. This was the host course for last year’s event, which Bernd Wiesberger won with a winning score of -22. It was ultimately a scoring fest, with the wind failing to do its part. This year’s test should be different, with the first three days expected to bring some strong winds. Furthermore, 200 total yardage has been added, whilst some of the fairways have been tightened. The rough is also said to be more penal. So, you can expect a far higher winning score this year and something more befitting an arduous links test. 

Obviously, the Pandemic has put pay to an elite field this year. Having said that, this will still be by far the best field assembled in the post-lockdown schedule. Links specialists such as Matthew Fitzpatrick and defending champion Bernd Wiesberger will look to capitalize on the more challenging conditions. Tommy Fleetwood is the headline act and is in desperate need of some positivity. He will know that this extended post-season will afford him the opportunity to assuage any of the doubters out there. Elsewhere the likes of Thomas Pieters and Martin Kaymer help contribute to a reasonably strong field given the current circumstances. 

Past Winners
2019: Bernd Wiesberger (-22) *playoff
2018: Brandon Stone (-20)
2017: Rafa Cabrera Bello (-13) *playoff
2016: Alex Noren (-14)
2015: Rickie Fowler (-12)

To Win Outright: 
Tommy Fleetwood: 10/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick: 14/1
Bernd Wiesberger: 22/1
Martin Kaymer: 22/1
Thomas Pieters: 25/1

Value Bets

John Catlin: To Win 40/1 | To Place 17/2
I know this is almost sacrilege. To back the previous week’s winner is both blasé and generally erroneous. But how is John Catlin sitting at 40/1? Just look at his two victories at Valderrama and Galgorm Castle. They perfectly display the type of assiduous golf that may well be necessary to win this week. He has shown his ability to play in the wind and rain, while his short game has been nothing short of exceptional. He will be looking to follow a successful recent tradition of Americans succeeding in this event: Phil Mickelson won in 2013 while Rickie Fowler won in 2015.

Sami Valimaki: To Win 80/1 | To Place: 17/1
This is a perfect example of an over-inflated price due to returning stars. Prior to his missed cut at the masochistic Winged Foot, this talented Finn was in exceptional European form. He was actually on a run of three consecutive top 10 finishes leading into the US Open. That run included a runner-up finish in Wales. While his links credentials are lacking, Valimaki is an extremely consistent player who could thrive in these conditions. He ranks inside the top 50 on the European Tour for Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, GIR Percentage and Putts Per GIR. 

The Man to Beat: Martin Kaymer: To Win 22/1 | To Place 48/10
Tommy has no value at 22/1. Thus, I once again turn to this venerated three-time Major Champion in the upper reaches of the market. Yes, he hasn’t won since the 2014 US Open. But he has been in magnificent post-lockdown form (at least on this side of the Atlantic). He finished in a tie for third at the Belfry and 2nd at Valderrama (clearly showing his capacity to play well in windy conditions). Kaymer finished in a tie for 20th here last year, a notable achievement when you consider where his game was at. In seven non-Major European Tour events in 2020 he has six top 16 finishes. If that’s not potentially winning form, I don’t know what is.  Kaymer also won this event at Loch Lomond in 2009. 

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile