The PGA TOUR heads over to Scotland this week for a unique test. As part of the recent alliance between the PGA TOUR and the DP WORLD TOUR (formally the European Tour) the Scottish Open has become an official event on the PGA TOUR’s schedule. This co-sanctioned event is making it’s debut on the PGA TOUR this year and will feature the top 75 players, from each TOUR, with a few special exemptions mixed-in to make a field of 156 golfers.
With the Open Championship next week a lot of the top players have decided to come over early for extra preparation. 31 of the top 50 golfers in the OWGR are in the field this week and the event is headlined by world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and recent U.S. Open Champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, who also lost in a playoff at this event last season. One final note on the event, three remaining spots to qualify for the Open Championship are up for grabs this week for players not already qualified. The top three non-qualified players will get spots as long as they finish inside the top 10.
As for DFS, the cut line and cut rules remain the same with the top 65 and ties after Friday getting to play the weekend.
The Renaissance Club — par 71, 7,293 yards
North Berwick, Scotland
The Renaissance Club will host the Scottish Open for the fourth year in a row. The venue was created back in 2007 by Tom Doak and fits in closely between some other famous Scottish Links courses. It’s proximity to the Old Course at St. Andrews also makes it a great warmup test for the players who will have just a short jaunt over for next week’s play.
As with most links courses, the Renaissance Club requires some good bounces for success, with firmer fairways and interesting green structures. The past three events staged at the Renaissance Club have seen a variety of different winners and contenders, and it’s a venue that can bring a lot of the field into play. The 2018 version of this event saw extremely low scoring that was brought on by ideal conditions. Bernd Wiesberger won that year on the back of some great iron play, but the 2019 version was entirely different as Aaron Rai grinded his way to a win at just 11-under par (half of Wiesberger’s 22-under par from 2018). In 2021, the three-man playoff featured three young players, all under 30 years of age.
The venue isn’t just quirky due to its links style nature either as the Renaissance Club also features four par 5’s and five par 3’s on the course, making it severely different from most Par 71 layouts. The Par 5’s are all easy to reach but the around-the-green structures and potential weather factors will act as solid defenses. The venue sits right on the coastline of the North Sea which means it’s always at risk of being affected by heavy winds or rain. However, the last three years have given us mostly mild wind and temperatures. As for how it will play in 2022 with heavier winds expected, here’s some insight from the designer as to what to expect:
“The windier and firmer it is, the more ball-striking plays a premium,” Doak says. “If it’s soft, it becomes more of a putting contest, and that’s not what the best players want to see. There are a few greens with some really tricky short-game shots – the back pin on the 18th is one, but more of them are on the front nine, as well as the shots around the 10th and 11th greens.”
Look for approach games and short games to be tested this week, especially going into the weekend where the wind is really expected to pick up. This will be a fun event, but also one where experience on links courses will matter.
2022 Outlook: The weather this week is all over the place. Wednesday has massive gusts of up to 40 mph, but that wind is expected to mostly die down before Thursday a.m. If some of the Wednesday weather blows into Thursday, however, there could be a nice advantage for the Thursday p.m. starters who will also be playing in warmer temperatures. It looks as if Friday a.m. also will feature higher gusts than the p.m. wave as of now, making wave splits hard to figure out at the moment. The weekend is expected to be windy on both days with gusts in the 18-25 mph range through Sunday. If you’re playing multiple lineups it’s best to think about stacking both sides of the draw right now unless something becomes clearer with the weather as the week progresses.
Last 3 winners
**the last three iterations of the Scottish Open were played at The Renaissance Club, the site of this year’s Scottish Open
2021—Min Woo Lee -18 (over Thomas Detry and Matthew Fitzpatrick playoff)
2020—Aaron Rai -11 (over Tommy Fleetwood playoff)
2018—Bernd Wiesberger -22 (over Benjamin Hebert playoff)
Winners Stats and Course Overview
2021 Winner: Min Woo Lee (18-under par)
2021 lead-in form (T17-T42-MC-T52-T21)
- Min Woo Lee cemented his status as one of the better up-and-coming young players at this event last season
- He gained most of his strokes around and on the green with the putter, but also ranked out well in approach play
- It’s worth noting that Lee placed in the top 20 the week prior in Ireland as well which is also played on a links venue and a good warmup for the players coming into this week
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change
1. Xander Schauffele ($9,900; win - T14): Schauffele is fresh off his first PGA TOUR stroke play win in over two seasons. The winner of the Travelers from two weeks prior also landed a T14 at the US Open and looks in great shape to take a run at another title soon.
2. Keith Mitchell ($7,800; T6 - T7): Mitchell is easily the cheapest player on our list this week and has now reeled off an impressive run of two top-10 finishes. The American ranks 18th in DraftKings points gained over the last 50 rounds.
3. Matthew Fitzpatrick ($10,100; win - T10): Fitzpatrick would be ranked much higher on this list if not for the fact he’s not played since his US Open win. The Englishman lost in a playoff at this event last season and looks primed to contend both this week, and next week at St. Andrews.
4. Keegan Bradley ($7,900; T19 - T7): Bradley has continued his consistent season into the Summer. He’s made six cuts in a row now with three top-10 finishes in that span.
5. Patrick Cantlay ($9,600; T13 - T14): Cantlay melted down last Sunday at the Travelers but has reeled off three top-15 finishes, regardless. The American has played in eight Open Championships throughout his career; experience which should somewhat help his prospects this week.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Spieth and Fleetwood solid values
As I discuss below, Jordan Spieth ($8,900) is one of the best links players in the game today and looks totally undervalued at under 9K in this field. Tommy Fleetwood ($8,400), who lost in a playoff at this event in 2020, is another great links player who you should be happy trusting at this price as well. Fleetwood disappointed a little after the PGA Championship, but some time off and better preparation for the next two weeks likely did him some good, and he brings in a ton of course experience to the mix as well. Despite some off-the-tee issues, Fleetwood’s approach and around-the-green game have been solid all year and should benefit him a ton given the quirkiness and variance-filled nature of this week’s links layout. Other potential targets for this format include Justin Rose ($7,900), Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,500), and Robert MacIntyre ($7,600).
Tournaments: Ride the momentum with Matsuyama and Fox
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,000) is coming off a fantastic US Open where he stormed late to a 4th-place finish. His links record isn’t as sterling as some of the other top players but he’s certainly proven he can handle himself on these setups and did grab a T6 at the Open back in 2013, his first year playing the event. Ryan Fox ($8,500) is another player with great recent form you should not fear backing either. The New Zealander has played on the European circuit much of his career and has been crushing leaderboards of late, landing a win, three runner-up finishes and a T3 over his last 10 starts. His lack of name recognition should keep his ownership somewhat suppressed, as well. Other potential GPP targets for this week include Adrian Meronk ($7,700), Jordan L. Smith ($7,300), Rickie Fowler ($6,900 - see below), Thorbjorn Olesen ($6,800) and Joakim Lagergren ($6,100).
MY PICK: Jordan Spieth ($8,900)
This is likely the perfect spot to buy low on Jordan Spieth, a player who has a terrific links record and is coming in off a couple of poor performances. Spieth was trending with solid form right before the U.S. Open, when a stomach bug derailed his preparations and almost forced him to withdraw. He made the cut at the Country Club, but missed the cut the next week at the Travelers. A few weeks removed now, though, and Spieth has made the trip over to the British Isles early and looks ready to compete at what will be his first ever Scottish Open.
Spieth on the links is not someone to be trifled with either. In eight Open Championship appearances he’s not missed the cut in eight attempts and has recorded four top-10 finishes in his last six starts at the Summer major, a record which includes winning the Claret Jug in 2017. His ability to handle the randomness of links golf has always been on solid display at that event and should translate well to this week. For daily fantasy golf purposes his sub-$9k salary looks somewhat criminal in this field, considering the type of course the players will be on, and at +2500 he’s a solid back in the outright market on the DraftKings Sportsbook as well.
MY SLEEPER: Rickie Fowler ($6,900)
There’s few PGA TOUR players in this field with the kind of links experience that Rickie Fowler possesses. While his recent form isn’t exactly signaling “screaming buy,” it’s worth noting his experience at this week’s event. Five career appearances at the Scottish Open since the mid-2010’s have yielded four top-10 finishes and a win. He’s also got an Open Championship record that shows seven made cuts in each of his last seven appearances as well. The Renaissance Club fits right in between some historic Open Championship venues (like Muirfield), so while we don’t have direct course form to go off, Fowler’s results at these past events should have us interested for daily fantasy golf purposes.
Fowler’s also notably made the trip over early (via social media) to properly prepare for the week and there is a lot on the line for the American at this event. Fowler has yet to qualify for the Open Championship at St. Andrews next week, but a good start at the Renaissance Club (T10 or being one of the top three non-qualifiers) would get him a spot. At under $7,000, he looks like a solid GPP target and a player who will be fighting for every spot if he makes the weekend.
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