2021 Scottish Open Betting Picks, Odds & Preview: Branden Grace, Ian Poulter Underpriced
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Branden Grace.
- The Scottish Open is the biggest draw on the golf calendar this week as the PGA TOUR's stars prep for The Open Championship next week.
- While there are some big names in the field, Josh Perry is targeting Branden Grace, Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters and Jason Scrivener, all between 40-1 and 100-1.
With The Open coming up next week, the stars are in Scotland this week as final prep for the oldest major.
Six of the top 11 players in the world will tee it up at the Scottish Open this week, which will likely make this the strongest field of any regular European Tour event this season.
The Renaissance Club will host the event for the third consecutive year, and it holds a special place in our hearts after we found a way to hit Bernd Wiesberger here when the course was first used in 2019.
While many of the PGA Tour regulars tee it up over here as a warm-up, this event has a solid history of being won by the upper echelon of the European Tour. Along with Bernd, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Alex Noren, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell have all come out on top of this event.
Given the talent in this field, it’s pretty rare to get a complete outsider lifting the trophy.
The Renaissance Club is a par 71 that measures a little over 7,300 yards. The difficulty tends to rely on the weather. Wiesberger won here at 22-under. Aaron Rai won last year at 11-under. With rain expected all four days, we could see some difficult scoring if the wind picks up as well.
The past two years, the course has favored the strong iron players. Golfers like Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Justin Thomas have all popped up inside the top 10 in the past two years.
We haven’t had too many elite bombers try to take this place apart. It’s really just Rory McIlroy in 2019, and he finished in 34th after entering in some solid form.
We’ll see if that changes this year with the stronger field.
Jon Rahm enters as the +700 favorite and is making his first start since winning the U.S. Open. It’s also his first event in Europe since October 2019 when he won the Open de Espana.
He’s got a great track record in these European events, but coming off his first major win and with a major lined up next week, his focus might be elsewhere.
Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa are next in line at +1200. Neither has played here, but I’d lean toward the course fitting Morikawa more based on his approach game. However, I really don’t have any interest in either at this price.
Rory McIlroy (+1400) and Justin Thomas (+1600) close out the teens-range, and if their focus is here and not on next week, they probably represent the two biggest threats at the top here.
Thomas finished ninth two years ago, but the short game hasn’t been good recently. His approach game should be a great fit here if he can figure out the putter.
McIlroy is coming off a rough week at the Irish Open, but he tends to struggle there most years given his off-course obligations that week.
Tyrrell Hatton (+2200) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2800) finish off the group.
Hatton was 14th in his only start here two years ago and has no trouble taking down these Euro Tour events, winning six times since 2016. That’s a very bettable number if you want to start near the top.
Like Hatton, Fitzpatrick also has six European Tour wins and has just had much better success overall in these fields. He hasn’t been playing nearly as well the past two months, though, so I’d lean Hatton between the two.
I’ll open here with Branden Grace at +4100 on FanDuel. I’d guess Grace will be a popular play at this number.
He’s been playing excellent the past month, finishing fourth at Memorial and seventh at the U.S. Open, gaining nearly 12 strokes on approach combined those two weeks.
Grace has a proven track record in Europe as well but is priced around some younger Americans like Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and Will Zalatoris, who don’t have much experience with this type of golf.
Grace owns a 62 at The Open Championship and has a win in the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland on his resume. He also reached a playoff against Phil Mickelson in this event before coming up short on a different course. The number is just too big for a guy in his form with his history.
I’m also going with Ian Poulter at +5500 on FanDuel. Poulter has finished inside the top 15 in both trips here. He’s been playing good golf in the U.S., making eight of his last nine cuts.
A lot of it has come down to his short game recently, but heading to a place that clearly fits his eye, I’ll take a chance at this price that he can work his way into contention.
We’ll close out this portion of the card with Thomas Pieters at +6600 on DraftKings. Pieters led the field off the tee last week at the Irish Open and has the game trending in the right direction after missing two cuts in his only two events over a two-month stretch.
He was also 20th here two years ago when he opened with 64 before slowing down a bit with three rounds of 68 in fairly easy scoring conditions.
I’ll be going with Jason Scrivener here at 100/1 on BetMGM.
Scrivener was second in approach last week at the Irish Open and has finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four starts. He’s the type of player who will have his full focus on the event, and we get a nice drift in his number with the big names here.
He’s missed the cut both times here, which is an obvious concern, but his form is in a better place this year, and at this price, I’ll take a chance on his solid play continuing.
The Scottish Open Card
- Branden Grace +4100 (.8 units)
- Ian Poulter +5500 (.6 units)
- Thomas Pieters +6600 (.5 units)
- Jason Scrivener +10000 (.33 units)
Total Stake: 2.23 units