The Scottish Open is always scheduled the week before the Open but this week it comes hot on the heels of another top quality links event, the Irish Open. Jon Rahm prove that links golf is a completely different game when the weather plays ball by racking up a massively impressive -24 winning score at Portstewart. The forecasts suggest that the players at the Scottish Open will be faced with rain but relatively little wind so we could see another low winning score at Dundonald Links.
There is a lot of excitement ahead of Dundonald’s debut as a European Tour venue. The course was only opened in 2003 but designer Kyle Phillips has had success before and he looks to have struck gold once again. With tight landing zones off the tee, natural gorse awaiting poor shots and tough greens surrounded by pot bunkers, Dundonald is what you’d call a traditional links venue.
Therefore, the winner of the fourth Rolex Series event of the season will need to employ a specific set of skills. Controlling the ball flight against the coastal breeze is a must even in relatively benign conditions, an imaginative short game is always a plus as is a certain degree of patience so as to attack and defend at the right times.
Fowler A Worthy Favourite
Rickie Fowler is perhaps the biggest of all the PGA Tour stars who are making rare European Tour appearances this week. The 28-year-old is a genuine superstar who happens to have great links pedigree and whose recent form reads 3-5-MC-2-60-11-3. There’s a couple of dodgy weeks in there but it’s clear that Fowler’s game is in good shape just now.
Fowler played a lot of golf in windy conditions as a kid and teenager and he’s made the most of that experience by winning the 2015 Scottish Open and claiming two top five finishes in the Open. This could be a huge fortnight for Fowler starting off with a win at Dundonald Links at 8/1 with Ladbrokes.
Grace Always One to Watch in Scotland
When it comes to links golf tournaments, especially those held in Scotland, it usually pays to have Braden Grace on board. The South African has close to the perfect game for links courses and conditions. He’s got a significantly lower ball flight than is the norm in the professional ranks, his ball striking is very reliable and his short game is about as good as you’ll see. Grace is a two time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links and he’s never missed the cut at the Open so back him each way this week at 28/1 with Bet365.
Warren Worth Chancing at Huge Odds
Marc Warren is an incredibly frustrating golfer to be a fan of. On the face of it he seems to have a solid game and his six professional wins show that he’s got the competitive nature required to succeed at the top. So why is his form so shocking? Warren’s not made the weekend in six events but a return to Scotland could be just what he needs. He’s got three finishes of fourth or better in the Scottish Open and could spring a surprise this week at 250/1 with Bet365.