Our PGA Tour betting expert is here to offer his predictions and picks for the Genesis Scottish Open, which begins Thursday at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.
Fourteen of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are set to play this week at the Scottish Open, the first time the pre-Open Championship tune-up is being co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour. Despite that fact, it is hardly the first time American players like Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Sam Burns have gone there to better serve their Open preparations. Min Woo Lee of Australia is defending champion.
Genesis Scottish Open predictions
--Padraig Harrington to finish in the top 10 @ 1200 with BetMGM
--Matt Fitzpatrick to finish in the top 5 @ 350 with BetMGM
--Victor Perez to win @ 8000 with BetMGM
Plaudits for Paddy
Tiger Woods' appearance at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland earlier this week drew far more attention to the humble charitable event than it usually receives. But while you were scanning that leaderboard, you might have noticed Harrington in the top five. A day after Xander Schauffele set the course record at Adare Manor with a 64, Harrington -- at 50 years old, mind you -- matched it with seven birdies, an eagle and just one bogey.
The two-time Open champion is clearly in top form. He won the U.S. Senior Open last month and looked far superior to the field over the first three rounds. Could Paddy keep it up in Scotland? He was T18 here just last year and T9 the year before. We can't pass this one up, for the nostalgia as much as the value.
Our pick: Padraig Harrington to crack the top 10 @ 1200 with BetMGM.
From U.S. victory to Scottish soil
Fitzpatrick will be teeing it up for the first time since his breakthrough win at the U.S. Open. Don't doubt his form: He's finished in the top 10 four times in his last five starts and never lower than 18th every time he's made the cut this year.
The last three Scottish Opens have been decided by playoffs, including last year's, when Lee beat Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry on the first playoff hole. Fitzpatrick is comfortable at this course and on the DP World Tour in general, where his first seven professional victories came before Brookline last month.
Our pick: Matt Fitzpatrick to crack the top 5 @ 350 with BetMGM.
A victory for Victor?
A few trends illustrate why betting the Scottish Open isn't as easy as picking Scheffler and calling it a day. No American has won this event since Rickie Fowler in 2015, and of the past six winners, five were ranked 83rd in the world or lower entering the week. DP World Tour grinders often find their way to the top while the game's elite focus on working the kinks out ahead of the Open.
Frenchman Victor Perez, No. 101 in the world, won his second DP World Tour title earlier this year in the Netherlands and tied for third the very next week. He's made three straight cuts at the Scottish, including a tie for 14th in 2020 when it was played in unusual (and windier) circumstances in October due to the pandemic. Perez averages 308 yards off the tee and ranks seventh on the DP World Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach. He's the sleeper we like the most this week.
Our pick: Victor Perez to win @ 8000 with BetMGM.
--Field Level Media