Dan Box
By Dan Box

The golfing world shifts it's attention to the UK for the next couple of weeks as we gear up for The Open Championship, with this week's Genesis Scottish Open boasting a huge prize fund and an extremely strong field as a co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour.

With the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, The Ashes and The Open all taking place within the space of just a couple of weeks in the UK, now is a great time to be a sports fan!

The Scottish Open provides the perfect warm-up for golfers looking to reacclimatise to links golf before heading to Royal Liverpool, and we've got all the details that you need to look out for at The Renaissance Club this week...

Last Year

Xander Schauffele won his seventh PGA Tour title and second straight title with a 7 under total which saw him finish one stroke ahead of Kurt Kitayama, with an even par final round of 70 enough to give him the victory.

Tom Kim, Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Cantlay rounded out the top five, with Australian Cameron Smith shooting 68-67 on the weekend a week before winning the Claret Jug at St Andrews.

The Course

The Renaissance Club sits right in the heart of golf country in North Berwick, with the likes of Muirfield, Gullane, Archerfield and North Berwick itself right on the doorstep. If you're looking for a venue for your next golf trip, this is the place to come!

The course was first opened in 2008, and was designed by acclaimed architect Tom Doak. Since then it has gained a reputation as being one of the most exclusive clubs in the UK, with visitor tee times in excess of £300, as well as providing a stern test of golf for both amateur and professional golfers alike.

A 7,237 yard par-70, it's very much a modern-day links course and scores could differ widely depending on the conditions, as wind and rain over the last few editions of this event have made scoring tougher than it might usually be.

The highlight of the course is the stretch down by the cliffs overlooking Firth of Forth, in particular the par 4 10th hole which features a narrow, doglegging fairway which runs down to a severely sloping green.

The Field

This is a Rolex Series event for the DP World Tour but it is also a co-sanctioned event which means you'll see a host of PGA Tour stars teeing it up, in preparation for next week's Open Championship at Hoylake.

In all, there are eight of the world's top ten players teeing it up this week, making it one of the strongest fields you're likely to see all year.

The biggest absence is World No. 2 Jon Rahm. Perhaps he's not a big fan of The Renaissance (not everyone is) or perhaps he's just keeping himself fresh for a charge at the Claret Jug next week - for the first three majors of this year he skipped the week before too.

Min Woo Lee, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, all previous winners of this event, are in the field this week, as is exciting young Swede Ludvig Aberg who turned professional earlier this summer and has already impressed Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald - could he be in with a chance of earning a pick on the European Team for September?

As always with these big events, you'll see featured groups pairing together some of the game's biggest names, so you can see them go shot-for-shot as they tackle links golf conditions for the first time in 2023.

Betting Tips...

Matt Fitzpatrick @ 22/1

3 top 15 finishes in four starts at this venue, including a runner-up finish in 2021, prove that he plays well here and should be perfectly suited to links golf. After winning the RBC Heritage back in April his form has been steady, but he's a higher price than the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton which represents good value here.

Min Woo Lee @ 35/1

The young Australian seems to be improving every week and it's only a matter of time before he wins a big event against the best players in the world if he can put four rounds together. He won this tournament back in 2021 before it became a co-sanctioned event and arrives on the back of T18 and T5 finishes at the PGA Championship and US Open respectively.

Justin Rose @ 45/1

Rose finished T69 last year after a third round 78 derailed his chances, but he's in stronger form this year and finished T4 in his last start at The Belfry. Vastly experienced in links conditions and would be a very popular winner with the UK crowds as he pushes hard for that all-important pick on Donald's European Ryder Cup Team.


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