Genesis Scottish Open betting guide: 8 picks our expert loves this week

min woo lee tees off at the rocket mortgage classic

Min Woo Lee won the Scottish Open in 2021.

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Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Genesis Scottish Open, which gets underway Thursday in North Berwick, Scotland. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp Golf, a mobile app that features both Free-To-Play and Daily Fantasy golf contests where you can win cash and prizes with each round and tournament.

Who wouldn’t want to play golf in Scotland for the next couple of weeks?

After a trifecta of birdie-fests stateside, the PGA Tour spends the next two weeks across the pond, beginning with the Genesis Scottish Open in North Berwick, followed by the final major championship of the season, the Open Championship at Royal Troon.

It will be the sixth consecutive season that the Scottish Open takes place at The Renaissance Club, a par-70 Tom Doak design that measures a little better than 7,200 yards. It will be the third straight year in which the tournament is a co-sanctioned between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. Each tour will send roughly its best 75 players into battle. A few names that are noticeably absent this week are World No. 1, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay.

The golf course provides a perfect tune-up for The Open because of its more modern links-style design that opened in 2008. It is a softer, gentler seaside links test compared to the full-fledged version to follow next week. As is often true, when we shift over to the United Kingdom, the putting surfaces become much slower this week at The Renaissance Club. They are a fescue grass surface and ought to run at about a 10 on the Stimpmeter, compared to a standard Tour event running at about a 12.

Putting has proven to be a key statistic over the last five editions of this tournament. Driving Distance and Strokes Gained: Off the Tee have manifested in the form of big hitters Min Woo Lee, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy being your last three winners.

The setup is unique, as there are five par-3s, three par-5s and 10 par-4s. Only one par-4 is less than 400 yards and six of them measure between 450-500 yards. With some rain in the forecast and the wind expected to be relatively light, one will need to rack up some birdies and, as is always the case around a links design, creativity and scrambling will be necessary for success.

Because this golf course is relatively new, there are some comparable layouts that we are used to seeing. We also have a couple of Doak designs or redesigns we can throw into the mix, Memorial Park in Houston, home to the Houston Open the last four seasons, and St. George’s Golf & Country Club, home to the Canadian Open, most recently in 2022. Others that I considered relatable are PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. We have seen a great deal of crossover success between Open champions, links players and those who have fared well at what is now the Cognizant Classic (previously the Honda). Silverado in Napa (Fortinet), Detroit Golf Club (Rocket Mortgage), TPC Craig Ranch (Byron Nelson), Hamilton Golf & Country Club (Canadian Open 2019, 2024) and Pinehurst No. 2, home to the U.S. Open just last month, are the others that made my list this week.

So, what does all of that mean? Interestingly enough, I have only one American player on my card this week. By no means intentionally — I believe it just speaks to the element of randomness here, not only with links golf in general, but the fact that this is a week before a major championship, and also due to the fact that half the players in the field are from, for the most part, an entirely different world golf tour. I have played each for an outright win and a top-20 finish.

Tommy Fleetwood (19-1)

Full disclosure, I already have a ticket on Fleetwood for next week at Royal Troon at 30-1, so I was hesitant to double-up and add him here but I couldn’t keep him off the card in the end, given his excellent season-long form and his play at this golf course, where he has finished sixth, fourth and runner-up, losing in a playoff in 2020. Very accurate off the tee, great links player. Over the last 36 rounds, Fleetwood is eighth in this field for scrambling and 13th on the par-4s measuring 450-500 yards. He also owns a third- and fourth-place finish at the Honda Classic. In typical Fleetwood fashion, he may not win but I have to believe he will at least be close.

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Min Woo Lee (30-1)

A winner over Matt Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry in a playoff here in 2021, I am banking on another strong showing from the Australian. He’s finished top-35 here on two other occasions. He comes off a runner-up finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and was runner-up earlier this season at PGA National. He hasn’t finished worse than 26th in his last six starts, including a 21st at Pinehurst and a 24th at TPC Craig Ranch. Over the last 36 rounds, he’s top-10 in this field for Driving Distance and SG: Off the Tee, and top-20 in this field for Birdies or Better Gained and on the par-4s of 450-500 yards.

Aaron Rai (50-1)

Maybe the stars are aligning for Rai, going back to his native Europe, to a course at which he’s won before — in a playoff over Fleetwood in 2020 — coming off two consecutive weeks of being in the final group on Sunday. Maybe this is what it will take to get the Englishman over the hump. He finished seventh for the second time at Memorial Park in Houston earlier this season. He took 14th at Pinehurst, 14th at Hamilton in Canada and was 13th at St. George’s in Canada in 2022. For all that appears to be in his favor, 50-1 is a heck of a price.

Wyndham Clark (52-1)

Speaking of price, I believe that is what we are getting here on a guy whose form suddenly dipped mid-season. Clark was either winning at Pebble Beach or seemingly finishing second to Scottie Scheffler every week before falling off around early April. He does come off a top-10 however, a few weeks ago at the Travelers Championship, and he has very solid history here at The Renaissance Club with finishes of 16th and 25th. He has an 11th and a seventh at PGA National, an eighth in Detroit, a 16th in Houston and a seventh in Canada in 2022. The timing could be right for one of the best players in the world being a bit out of the spotlight.

Alex Noren (80-1)

Noren is a former Scottish Open winner. Not at this golf course but the man does have links golf chops, having won 11 times on the DP World Tour. He also has three top-10 finishes at PGA National, two in Detroit, one at TPC Craig Ranch and one at Memorial Park. He’s excellent on approach and on the long par-4s and his short game is world class. It feels similar to Fleetwood, neither of which have won on U.S. soil, in that he may not win here but I can see him having another strong week.

Thomas Detry (80-1)

Detry seems to love this golf course, maybe more than anyone else in the field. This will be his sixth straight time playing The Renaissance Club with no finish worse than 43rd. He was top-10 in 2022 and lost a playoff to Lee in 2021. He too has been in excellent form with a runner-up in Houston, a fourth at the PGA Championship and a 14th at Pinehurst. Detry can rack up the birdies and is an excellent putter.

Matt Wallace (125-1)

Crazy, I’ve seen this number as high as 150-1 and as low as 80-1. Like Noren, Wallace is another long shot who is a very classy links player. It was just last fall that he finished sixth at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He’s been consistently in the top-30 here in North Berwick and finished as high as 14th here in 2019. He has finished top-12 twice at Detroit Golf Club and just took fourth at the Byron Nelson this season. Just a few weeks ago, he was 15th at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. Wallace hits it long enough, is very solid on approach and owns a far better than average short game. Another attractive European long shot.

Matthew Jordan (175-1)

Now this one is even longer but again, I believe he has a better shot than his price would indicate, and I also believe he has a good shot to cash us a top-20 finish. Jordan burst on the scene last July when he finished top-10 at The Open Championship in his hometown. He hits is long, he hits greens in regulation and he can putt. He took 18th here in 2021 and has recorded three top-13 finishes in his last five starts. Where bounces, weather and results can be quite random, I believe the young Jordan is worth a punt.

Who Chirp Golf players are picking this week

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