2024 Scottish Open First-Round Leader Picks: FRL Bets Thursday

2024 Scottish Open First-Round Leader Picks: FRL Bets Thursday article feature image
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Via Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Schauffele of the United States gestures on the eighth hole during a practice round prior to the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on July 09, 2024 in North Berwick, Scotland.

Here's everything you need to know about 2024 Scottish Open first-round leader picks — including our expert's three FRL bets for this week's PGA Tour event in North Berwick, Scotland.

With the John Deere Classic in the rear-view mirror, we now look forward to this week's 2024 Scottish Open. The Renaissance Club in Scotland hosts once again, which it has done annually since 2019.

This European course is a par-70, 7,237-yard track designed by Tom Doak. This links style venue rewards heavy hitters because the golf course has a lesser penalty for inaccuracy off the tee.

Last season, three of the top-five finishers ranked among the top seven in the field in both Driving Distance and Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, the only two statistics or metrics in which such a trend occurred.

Find my 2024 Scottish Open first-round leader picks below.

2024 Scottish Open First-Round Leader Picks (FRL)

Xander Schauffele +2200 (FanDuel | 0.15 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 3:39 a.m. ET

This play financially ties me to one of the tournament favorites at a much more generous payout than his outright odds of +850. That number is just a bit too short for my liking, regardless of how much higher Xander Schauffele's ceiling is relative to the vast majority of the field.

Schauffele won here in 2022 and has only improved since then. He's the second-best player on the PGA Tour right now behind Scottie Scheffler, and the reigning Masters champion won't tee it up at The Renaissance Club this week.

Speaking of which, Scheffler is the only player on the PGA Tour this season to have a lower first-round scoring average than Schauffele, which is another reason why I like Schauffele in the FRL market more than the outright one this week.

Min Woo Lee +4500 (bet365 | 0.15 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 3:50 a.m. ET

Min Woo Lee tees off in the group immediately following Schauffele's tee time, and he will be my second target in the FRL market this week. Lee won here the year prior to Schauffele, so course fit is clearly not a concern.

There's a legitimate argument that The Renaissance Club suits Lee's game just as much as anyone else in this field because he ranks third on the PGA Tour this season in average Driving Distance. He also enters this week in great form, finishing 26th or higher in six consecutive tournaments.

Lee gained strokes on the field in each of those six tournaments while also finishing well above the field in Driving Distance in all six starts. He was at least 18 yards over the average Driving Distance in relation to the field average in five of those six. This stretch culminated in a runner-up performance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Aaron Rai +5500 (bet365 | 0.15 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 2:22 a.m. ET

Like Schauffele and Lee, Aaron Rai is a former winner of this event as he took down the field to win the Scottish Open in 2020. Also like Lee, Rai is peaking at the right time.

He's made the weekend in eight consecutive tournaments, posting three top-seven finishes in the process. However, I don't really love Rai in the outright market because I have concerns with his lack of distance off the tee catching up to him over 72 holes with so many bombers in the field.

With that said, 55-1 is still a decent flier in the first-round leader market on someone playing his best golf with previous success at this venue. Rai also ranks fifth among this field in First Round Scoring Average on Tour this season.

Here's my full betting card for the 2024 Scottish Open, and you can find more of my thoughts on this week's tournament on the Links + Locks Best Bets podcast:

  • Tommy Fleetwood Outright Winner (+2200 at bet365) – 0.3 Units
  • Hideki Matsuyama Outright Winner (+3000 at FanDuel) – 0.3 Units
  • Corey Conners Outright Winner (+4500 at FanDuel) – 0.3 Units
  • Max Homa Outright Winner (+6000 at bet365) – 0.3 Units
  • Thomas Detry Top 10 (+700 at bet365) – 0.24 Units
  • Matthieu Pavon Top 10 (+850 at bet365) – 0.23 Units
  • Xander Schauffele FRL (+2200 at FanDuel) – 0.15 Units
  • Min Woo Lee FRL (+4500 at bet365) – 0.15 Units
  • Aaron Rai FRL (+5500 at bet365) – 0.15 Units

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