2023 Genesis Scottish Open Odds & Picks: Bet Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton & Jordan Spieth
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood.
This week is essentially like the one before Christmas. We have the year's final major and my second favorite event of the year on tap next week. While we don't have a designated event in Scotland, we do have a co-sanctioned one between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, which has led to a very strong field set to tee it up at The Renaissance Club.
This venue has hosted the Scottish Open each of the last four years, so we have plenty of data to sift through when it comes to course fit. However, the difficulty of the course is at the mercy of Mother Nature. In calm conditions, we've seen scores average a couple under par. In windy and rainy conditions, we've seen this course play well over par. The early week forecast calls for a lot of rain and 15+ mph winds all four days.
The course was designed by Tom Doak and is a par-70 that measures 7,237 yards. The fairways are narrow by tour standards (31.5 yards wide on average), but the penalty for missing them hasn't been great in the four previous editions. The greens are quite large (7,000 square feet on average) and feature fescue grass. The course was playing firm and fast last year, and it's worth noting that players only hit 49% of fairways and 59% of greens in regulation.
While I'm leaning on statistics a little less than usual this week, I do like the idea of targeting golfers who are solid all-around. Ball striking comes in handy on all courses, but a creative short game is often needed on links courses. If golfers are only going to hit 60% of greens in regulation again, scrambling will be paramount. Given the size of the greens, it's not a terrible idea to look at three-putt avoidance as well.
More important than individual statistics, I will be looking for golfers who have a good track record on links courses and golfers that are comfortable playing in the wind and the rain. These are often tough metrics to find, but I've done some digging and come up with four outright bets for the card this week.
Genesis Scottish Open Outright Picks
Tyrrell Hatton +1800 (DraftKings)
Hatton hasn't won this year, but he's been in contention a number of times and has put together his most consistent season on the PGA Tour. He's one of a handful of golfers in this field who is ranked in the top 50 in all four strokes-gained categories and he's racked up three wins on links courses in his career (he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship twice and won this event at a different course). The price isn't as good as it was at the start of the week, but I still like +1800 for a golfer who is trending toward a win.
Tommy Fleetwood +2200 (BetMGM)
Fleetwood has yet to pick up a win on the PGA Tour, but wouldn't it be the most Fleetwood thing ever to do it at a co-sanctioned event in Scotland? He nearly won the Valspar Championship and probably should have won the RBC Canadian Open, so he's been knocking at the door all year. Much like Hatton, he doesn't have a weakness in his game, as he's ranked top 30 in this field in all four of the strokes-gained categories. He's also taken a particular liking to the Renaissance Club, finishing T24 or better in all three of his appearances.
Jordan Spieth +2500 (Caesars)
Spieth doesn't have the incoming form that you would expect from a winner in a field this strong, but if you zoom out a little, his form looks a lot better. Believe it or not, he has finished in the top five in five of his last 10 starts. He finished 10th here last year and he seems to love playing on this side of the pond. Perhaps it's the creativeness needed on links courses that brings out the best in him. Many will view the fact that he hasn't played since the U.S. Open as a negative, but I'm on the other side of the fence. He's talked about being fatigued a number of times this season, so the break might end up being exactly what he needed.
Justin Rose +5000 (PointsBet)
My final bet of the week is Rose, who is priced a lot higher than I expected him to be. He is one of the best in the field on links courses and is having his best season in quite some time. He picked up a win at Pebble Beach earlier this season and is coming off of a top five finish at the British Masters. His iron play has improved by leaps and bounds and he's had an elite short game for years. I like the course fit and the incoming form, so I certainly don't mind backing him at +5000 this week.
Let's find our way back into the winner's circle this week.