The first round of the Scottish Open is always a highlight of the European Tour season as we see the links for the first time and get an early taste of what can be expected in The Open next week. All 156 players will be out on the golf course on Thursday looking to get themselves into a decent position.
A top class field is expected to be treated to good weather in the main on a real Scottish links so we should be in for a decent day of golf with everyone wanting to get themselves into a good early position on the leaderboard.
First Round Leader
We’ve had a couple of near misses with this market in the past so I’m hoping for a little more success with it here. As ever we need to determine what we are betting on in terms of the format of the day. This tournament follows the same schedule as next week with groups of three going out every 10 minutes with all groups off the first tee. The other thing we need to check is the weather and the wind is set to increase as the day goes on so it may well be that the earlier starters have the better of the conditions so I’m going to focus on a couple of morning starters.
Ross Fisher has a decent links pedigree. The last time he teed it up competitively on a Scottish links he was threatening a 59 at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links and in calm conditions he should be able to score well again here. He is out at 08.40 BST which might just be the perfect start time. He is solid from tee to green and I would have expected him to have worked hard on his short game. He’s seen stablemate Francesco Molinari win recently so I expect a good start here.
Jorge Campillo seems to be popping up on leaderboards everywhere I look at the minute and with him out at 09.50 BST he should be out at a nice enough time to make an impact here. He is solid with every club in the bag which could be what is needed this week and with the confidence of playing well for a while, in benign conditions there is no reason why he can’t deliver a decent opening 18 holes.
Thursday 3 Balls
There are some amazing groups out on the golf course on Thursday for the galleries to enjoy at the venue as well as us watching on the TV coverage. The Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama group that is out at 09.00 BST looks a ripper as does the Stephen Gallacher, Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood group which tees off at 13.20 BST. There are a number of Scots on the golf course for the crowds to enjoy too while I am targeting three of them for a betting point of view.
Edoardo Molinari/Renato Paratore/Chris Paisley
Match tees off at 09.40 BST
One of the morning groups out onto the golf course sees the winner in South Africa earlier in the campaign out with a couple of Italians as Chris Paisley goes out alongside Edoardo Molinari and Renato Paratore.
Quite what has happened to Paratore I’ve no idea but he hasn’t broken 70 in the opening round since Dubai in January and his last three first rounds have been 82, 77 and 75. Barring something bizarre we can forget about him here. Molinari isn’t a whole lot better. He hasn’t broken 70 in the first round since Qatar in February and has missed six of his last nine cuts. Paisley has gone slightly quiet recently although his rounds have been 71s and 72s rather than disasters and that could well be enough here. If he can fly out the traps like he was earlier in the season then he should win this three ball.
Darren Clarke/Richie Ramsay/Ryan Fox
Match tees off at 13.10 BST
One of the afternoon groups out onto the golf course involves last week’s playoff loser Ryan Fox. He is out with the former Open champion Darren Clarke and the local lad Richie Ramsay for the first 18 holes of the tournament.
We know Clarke is at home on a links course but his form is terrible so I can’t be backing him here while Ramsay has stumbled for form at the wrong time. I still respect Ramsay though because he is at home but Ryan Fox played really well last week and I suspect he’ll ride that wave here. He has claimed that he enjoys links golf and he sorted out his spot in The Open last week so he can relax and shoot the score to win this three ball.
Jeunghun Wang/George Coetzee/Mike Lorenzo-Vera
Match tees off at 15.00 BST
One of the later groups out on the first tee for their first round is an international or overseas group with Jeunghun Wang out alongside George Coetzee and Mike Lorenzo-Vera in what should be an entertaining match.
By this time the wind is expected to be up which I think will play into the hands of Coetzee and I’m happy to back him as a result. I think he’s the pick of the trio on a links course anyway and when you throw in the wind that quality should only be strengthened. Lorenzo-Vera has played well over the last couple of months but I’m not convinced this will be for him while Wang is beginning to blow hot and cold too much for my liking. I’m with Coetzee here.
Back R.Fisher – First Round Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 67.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-6)
Back him here:
Back J.Campillo – First Round Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 61.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
WON – Back C.Paisley to beat E.Molinari & R.Paratore for a 3/10 stake at 2.35 with 888sport
Back R.Fox to beat D.Clarke & R.Ramsay for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral
Back G.Coetzee to beat J.Wang & M.Lorenzo-Vera for a 3/10 stake at 2.80 with LeoVegas