Golf

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

The Genesis Scottish Open gets underway on Thursday, and our betting expert has settled on his favorite picks for the week.
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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 the host of the HeatStrokes podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read below to see his favorite plays for the Genesis Scottish Open, which starts Thursday at The Renaissance Club, in North Berwick, Scotland. Keep scrolling past Kannon’s picks, and you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.
For years, Tour pros have traveled overseas to play in the Scottish Open, looking to tune up their links game in advance of the Open Championship. For the second straight season, what is now the Genesis Scottish Open is part of the official Tour schedule as a co-sanctioned event between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour. The field has never been better. Only three players outside of the top 12 in the Official World Golf Ranking will be absent this week: Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm.
The Renaissance Club, which has hosted the past four editions of this tournament, is a Tom Doak design that plays to a par 70 and stretches just over 7,200 yards. The course is links-style, but not technically a links. It does have a handful of seaside holes but also some that weave into wooded areas of what was an old pine forest, with more typical American-style rough bordering the fairways. The fairways are relatively narrow and the greens are very large — and roll relatively slow. The course also features pot bunkers, like those we are used to seeing on links courses.
When the weather cooperates, the course plays firm and bouncy and allows for the ground game. But this week the forecast calls for quite a bit of rain, along with fairly typical winds in the 15-mph range, which could make for soft conditions — something we have seen on the PGA Tour for the past three weeks. So much of this tournament will come down to weather. Last year, Xander Schauffele was held to a winning score of just seven under. With benign conditions in 2021 and 2019, the winning scores were 18 under and 22 under, respectively.
Length off the tee is a benefit at The Renaissance Club, as is good long-iron play. Of the 10 par-4s, most measure over 450 yards. Three of the five par-3s stretch over 200 yards.
In the skill-set department, I leaned heavily this week, as I often do, on Strokes Gained: Approach. I also looked at Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Around the Green. I looked at Scrambling, Birdies or Better Gained, Strokes Gained: Par 4s 450-500 yards, and 3-Putt Avoidance, as that will be important on these massive putting surfaces.
For correlated courses, I considered two Doak renovation projects: St. George’s Golf & Country Club, where they played the 2022 Canadian Open, and Memorial Park, where they played the Houston Open the last three seasons. I also looked at PGA National (Honda Classic), Riviera (Genesis Invitational) and Los Angeles Country Club, where Wyndham Clark won the U.S. Open last month.
Tommy Fleetwood (25-1)
Fleetwood finished fifth at the U.S. Open last month in Los Angeles. He also has a good history at both Riviera and at the Honda Classic. He ranks high in this field in all of the stats, especially around the greens. Fleetwood has come agonizingly close this season to winning for the first time on American soil. This week, I’m wagering on another victory for him in the UK.
Shane Lowry (40-1)
Lowry is one of the better links and wind players in the world. He knows this type of golf and this type of terrain. He took 10th last season in Canada at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, a Doak redo. Lowry’s putting has been awful this season, but this week puts him back on the kind of surfaces he grew up on. As we have seen over the years, putting on slow, links golf course greens often negates the impact of putting on final results. We’ve seen bad putters flourish on greens like this and excellent putters struggle. It is just not the type of surface where one has to be a magician with the flatstick and that should bode well for Lowry. Over the last 36 rounds, he ranks 26th in this field for SG Off the Tee and 11th in SG Approach. Lowry, too, has had tremendous success at the Honda Classic.
Justin Rose (52-1)
Over the course of his outstanding career, Rose has had success at PGA National, at Riviera and finished fourth last year at the Canadian Open at St. George’s. Of course, he was a winner earlier this season at Pebble Beach and now with the Ryder Cup coming more into focus — and golf heading across the pond for a couple of weeks — it feels like an opportune time for Rose to shine again. Over the last 36 rounds, Rose is fifth in this field for SG Approach and ninth on par-4s between 450-500 yards.
Adam Scott (60-1)
Scott has quietly been having a solid season. Over a 30-day stretch in May and June, he finished top 10 in three out of four weeks on Tour. He’s won twice at Riviera, once at the Honda, and has always been a fantastic links player — with more than one close call at the Open Championship. If he can dial in his iron play this week, he ought to be able to make a run.
Gary Woodland (115-1)
Woodland is one of the best in the world off the tee and with the long irons. The short game is where he is lacking, but we’ve spoken how much of that can be mitigated on these types of greens. Over the last 36 rounds, he is eighth in this field for SG Off the Tee, 16th for SG Approach, 35th on the par-4s between 450-500 yards and 24th in Birdies or Better Gained. Woodland finished top 10 at Riviera earlier this season and has finished top 8 at the Honda Classic four times.
Lee Hodges (300-1)
Hodges is our really long bomb for the week. He is very efficient off the tee and is a solid long-iron player. Over the last 36 rounds, he is 31st in this field for SG Off the Tee and seventh on the par-4s measuring between 450-500 yards. He is also second in this field for SG Putting on slow greens. He has a 14th- and a ninth-place finish at the Honda Classic and was 18th earlier this season at Riviera. He’s a long shot for sure but I would not be surprised to see him hanging around in that top 20 neighborhood.
Full Tournament Head-to-Head Matchups (38-31-4 YTD)
Shane Lowry (+100) over Jordan Spieth
Justin Rose (-120) over Justin Thomas
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