2022 Scottish Open First Round Leader Picks: Find FRL Value With Tyrrell Hatton, 2 More
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrrell Hatton.
The PGA TOUR and DP World Tour are heading to Scotland to play the first co-sanctioned event since their strategic alliance was announced in November of 2020.
The field is one of the strongest we’ve ever seen in a non-major and it should be an incredibly exciting week of golf.
This is the fourth time that the Scottish Open will be hosted by The Renaissance Club. The first order of business when constructing a first-round leader card is to examine whether starters in the morning or afternoon have historically had the advantage at the course.
In the first three renewals of the event at the Renaissance Club, there have been five first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the five, four of the first-round leaders have teed off in the afternoon. That would lead us to believe that the tee time advantage lies with the late starters, right?
Not so fast.
When building a first-round leader card it’s always important to keep an eye on the weather. It’s even more important to keep an eye on the weather when the golf is being played in Scotland.
The wind can always change, but I held off writing this article until the late afternoon for a reason. Things are starting to look like there will be a significant advantage to the morning starters on Thursday. The afternoon winds are projected to be in the 20 MPH range with gusts up to 30 MPH. The morning winds are looking to be steady in the 10 MPH range. Considering The Renaissance Club is on the coast, the morning starters seemingly have the superior draw.
My first-round leader strategy has always been centered on backing longshots. I believe golfers with long odds have a much greater chance of being the first-round leader than they do to win the golf tournament. This strategy hasn’t been that successful lately, with so many first-round leaders coming from the top of the odds board, but I still believe it’s the best long-term strategy.
The Scottish Open may be the perfect event for longshots to reclaim the top spot on the leaderboard. Last year, despite a strong field, the leaderboard was littered with Europeans foreign to the casual golf fan.
Last year, Jack Senior held the first-round lead after posting a 64 (-7).
2022 Scottish Open First-Round Leader Bets
Tyrrell Hatton (+5500)
Tyrrell Hatton’s PGA TOUR form has been downright disappointing in 2022 but his DP World TOUR results have been consistently strong throughout his entire career. The Renaissance Club will be a far more comfortable venue for the Englishman and the links style of golf really suits his game.
Hatton finished in solo fourth place at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland that ran Monday and Tuesday of this week. Normally, I would consider it unwise to put too much stock into a Pro-Am, but I think it was a great sign for Hatton. The field was loaded with 10 of the top 11 golfers in the world and with Tiger Woods playing, everyone wanted their best game on display.
Additionally, for a golfer who’s searching for consistency, I’ll never view a high finish with consistent rounds of 68-69 to finish at -7 a bad thing. I’m betting that he found something.
Round 1 Tee Time: 8:15 a.m. GMT
Johannes Veerman (+11000)
In terms of physical tools and raw talent, there aren’t many on the DP World TOUR who have a profile as strong as Veerman does. When his game is clicking on all cylinders, he can compete with the best in the world as we saw at last year’s Scottish Open when the 29-year-old finished in the top 10 when competing against some of the world’s best players.
Veerman fired a 65 (-6) in the final round of the event last year, so he’s shown he’s capable of going low at The Renaissance Club.
Round 1 Tee Time: 8:05 a.m. GMT
Justin Harding (+13000)
Justin Harding was added in the field after a stay was granted in court to four of the LIV Golf defectors making them eligible to compete in this week’s Scottish Open.
The South African arrives to The Renaissance Club in solid form after finishing in the top-10 in both of the LIV Golf Series’ first two events.
Harding is capable of competing in strong fields, as he finished in 19th place at the 2021 Open Championship. He should be able to take advantage of being the first golfer on the course and can get most of his round in before the wind picks up.
Round 1 Tee Time: 7:15 a.m. GMT
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