Scottish Open Golf 2022 – Round 1 Tips and Betting Preview

The first round of the Scottish Open will be played out on Thursday as the extended field see the Renaissance Club for the first time in competition conditions this week with each player teeing it up looking to get off to a fast start.

This is a Rolex Series event with one of the strongest fields we’ve ever seen for a DP World Tour event so the quality is likely to be strong throughout the day so good golf is going to be needed to get a decent position on the leaderboard.

First Round Leader

As ever for a Rolex Series event the first market we look at is the first round leader one. Next week the field will all go out off of the first tee over the course of 10 hours of tee times. That isn’t how it works here though. Here the field go off the first and tenth tees in a morning and afternoon wave. The good thing for the players is that there doesn’t appear to be a significant change in the weather from the morning to the afternoon so there shouldn’t be a draw bias here.

I’ll take two players for the first round leader, one in each wave. In the morning wave Aaron Rai will be relishing a return to this place. He won this tournament on this course in 2020 and has been on fire in the opening rounds on the PGA Tour this season. Admittedly he hasn’t been able to press on and in this company the same might happen here but while a lot of these players were in Ireland on Monday and Tuesday, Rai would have been acclimatising to the course and conditions. He has opened with eight rounds of 67 or better this season including a 65 in Mexico and at the Wells Fargo while he started his week in Ireland last week with a 66. Those rounds give him a shot here.

Given that Ian Poulter went through the courts to be able to appear here he is going to look pretty stupid if he fluffs his lines having gone to such lengths. If there I one thing we know about Poulter then it is that he tends to play his best golf when he has a point to prove or the bit between his teeth having been riled up. I suspect that is the Poulter we get here. As well as finding golf in the future, it might be that one reason he was so keen to play here is his record in the tournament. He has finishes of 14-6-4 here and in his last five Scottish Opens he has posted opening 18 hole tallies of 67, 66, 65, 67 and 66. Anything in that range here has him in with a chance so I’ll pay to see if the postman delivers.

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Thursday 3 Balls

As mentioned above, the format for the play on Thursday is that the 160 player field go out in three balls, although give their late reacceptance into the field, the four LIV golfers who are teeing it up go out in two balls at the start of each wave. The two marquee groups in the morning session see the world number one Scottie Scheffler out with Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland. They go out at 08.05 off the tenth tee with Cameron Smith, Jordan Spieth and Tyrrell Hatton out 10 minutes later.

In the afternoon wave the big group is the new US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, The Open holder Collin Morikawa and Will Zalatoris who go off the first tee at 13.15 BST. Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama and Tommy Fleetwood are grouped together. They follow the other group off the first tee at 13.25. There are so many groups priced up for this opening round and after a look at them there is one bet for me.

Jason Kokrak/Rickie Fowler’Padraig Harrington

Match tees off at 12.45 BST

One of the earlier groups out off the first tee on Thursday afternoon sees the newly crowned US Senior Open champion Padraig Harrington out alongside the American pair of Jason Kokrak and Rickie Fowler in what is a decent trio.

Kokrak hasn’t done much in his career to suggest that he is going to excel in links conditions. He hasn’t registered a top 25 finish at The Open and the last of those was in pretty benign conditions. There is also a lot of speculation about him moving to LIV golf so he isn’t for me. Harrington is playing for a fourth straight week and also played the JP McManus pro-am earlier in the week so you would imagine he will be running low in terms of the fuel tank which puts me off taking him. Fowler on the other hand comes here relatively fresh and has shown on many occasions that he likes playing in this part of the world. Although not on this course, in 2017 he opened this event with a 67 and the year after he posted a 64. This season he went round Torrey Pines in 66 in the opening round and shot the same score at the Wells Fargo. We know he loves Scotland and links golf so he looks a fair price in this group.


Back A.Rai First Round Leader (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 71.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-6)

Back I.Poulter First Round Leader (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-6)

Back R.Fowler to beat J.Kokrak & P.Harrington for a 3/10 stake at 3.00 with Betfair

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