Rose Can Be Flower Of Scotland
The Scottish Open dates back to 1972 and is traditionally held the week before the British Open. It’s one of the more lucrative events on the European Tour, with a prize fund of £2.5 million.
Last year Phil Mickelson became just the third player from the United States to win this tournament and his subsequent success at the British Open has persuaded a few more of his countrymen to enter this year.
It was previously staged at Loch Lomond, but since 2011, the Scottish Open has been held at links courses and this year moves to the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, the sixth oldest golf club in the world. It’s an archetypal links course, sculpted out of dunes on the North Sea coast, with undulating, heavily bunkered fairways that are completely exposed to the changeable sea gales.
In The Bunker
Phil Mickelson’s heroics last summer put to rest the theory that he couldn’t handle links golf, and he’s back this year bidding to repeat his double. But while he can no longer be written off on the basis of his perceived weakness on this kind of course, we can question his form. He hasn’t made a top ten all season, a run of form going back to October last year that makes him a dubious betting proposition at the moment.
Rory McIlroy tops the antepost betting for this tournament, but I think better value can be had with the second player on the list, Justin Rose at 14/1. The 2013 US Open champion hasn’t played this event since 2011, when he finished just inside the top fifteen,
…but he is heading to Scotland in the best possible shape, having recovered from an opening round 74 to win the Quicken Loans National last week.
Jamie Donaldson is another player who hasn’t played this event since 2010, when he recorded his best Scottish Open result in eight attempts, but he’s back in Scotland this year and in his current mood, has to be a serious contender.
After missing the cut at the US Open in the middle of June, he has recovered to record consecutive top five finishes, at the BMW International Open and last week in France, where he shot a final round 69 to land his second highest prize haul of the year. Back him at 25/1.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Shane Lowry. He missed the cut at the Irish Open, but the balance of his form has been good in recent weeks including a superb second at Wentworth and a top fifteen finish in Cologne last time out. He has a decent record in this tournament and he should thrive on the links at Royal Aberdeen, so offers plenty of value at decent odds of 40/1.