Genesis Scottish Open 2023 Friday Matchup Bets Feature Justin Thomas Vs. Min Woo Lee

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Byeong Hun An lit up The Renaissance Club in the 1st round of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023 Thursday. An shot a 1st-round 61 (-9), tying the course record and has a two-stroke lead entering the 2nd round.

Wyndham Clark shot the best 1st-round score of any golfer on my Scottish Open betting card with a -2 Thursday. My Scottish Open tournament matchup bets are looking better than my outrights after the 1st round.

All of the golfers I backed have at least a one-stroke lead over their opponents after the Thursday. As I did with the tournament-long matchup bets, I’m only risking a half-unit (u) on two …

Genesis Scottish Open 2023 Round 2 Head-to-Heads

Justin Thomas (-105) > Min Woo Lee

Thomas and Lee both shot a 1st-round 2-under par while teeing off Thursday morning a.m. at the Genesis Scottish Open 2023. This is a situation of “wrong golfer favored”.

In the 17 career tournaments both Thomas and Lee have played in together, JT would be 10-6-1, per FantasyNational.com. There have been 50 rounds both Thomas and Lee have played in, JT’s record would be 24-21-5. Thomas’s true moneyline odds vs. Lee should be -114.

To be fair, I get why Lee is a favorite over Thomas in Round 2. Lee came into the Scottish Open with much better form and won this event back in 2021. 

Justin Thomas putts on the 12th green during Round 1 of the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in United Kingdom.
Justin Thomas putts on the 12th green during Round 1 of the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in United Kingdom. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Otherwise, JT is the much better golfer, obviously. Thomas is a 2-time PGA Championship winner and has 15 career wins on the PGA Tour while Lee has none.

Over the last 50 rounds, Thomas is 5th in this field for total Strokes Gained (SG) at comp courses and 2nd in total SG in windy weather conditions.

The Renaissance Club is on the Scottish coastline and is susceptible to high winds. Lee on the other hand is 63rd in total SG at comp courses and 78th in total SG in windy weather conditions over the last 50 rounds. 

Min Woo Lee plays his third shot on the 10th hole during Round 1 of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023 at The Renaissance Club.
Min Woo Lee plays his third shot on the 10th hole during Round 1 of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023 at The Renaissance Club. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Moreover, Thomas ranked struck the ball much better in the 1st round of the Scottish Open than Lee. Per DataGolf.com, JT was 17th in SG: Tee-to-Green (T2G) midway through the p.m. wave of the 1st round whereas Lee was 113th in SG: T2G. Lee was 10th in SG: Putting as of noon ET Thursday.

Typically putting has high variance. Granted, Lee won the 2021 Scottish Open so he clearly can read these greens. However, approach play and ball striking is much more predictive than putting. 

BET: 0.5u on Justin Thomas (-105) over Min Woo Lee in Round 2 of the 2023 Scottish Open

Betting odds for Justin Thomas vs. Min Woo Lee in the 2nd round of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open from DraftKings.
Betting odds for Justin Thomas vs. Min Woo Lee in the 2nd round of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open from DraftKings.

Aaron Rai (-110) > Lucas Herbert

Both of these guys shot a +1 for the 1st round of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023. This is a co-sanctioned event by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.

Herbert plays mostly on the DP World Tour and ranks 8th in their season-long standings entering the Genesis Scottish Open 2023. Rai is a full-time PGA Tour pro and ranks 56th in the FedExCup Standings.

Three Genesis Scottish Open 2023 Head-To-Head ‘Locks’

As I said in my full tournament head-to-heads handicap for the Scottish Open earlier this, the PGA Tour is like the SEC in college football compared to the DP World Tour, which would be the ACC.

A vast majority of the favorites to win the Scottish Open pre-tournament were PGA Tour pros. Herbert has missed the cut in three of his last four PGA Tour starts albeit two of them were “elevated events” (2023 U.S. Open and the Memorial).

Lucas Herbert tees off on the 1st hole during the 1st round of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023.
Lucas Herbert tees off on the 1st hole during the 1st round of the Genesis Scottish Open 2023. (Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

While Rai has finished T12 or better in three of his past five PGA Tour starts including a T9 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T3 at the RBC Canadian Open. 

In the 25 career PGA Tour events both Rai and Herbert played in, Rai would have a 15-9-1 record over Herbert. This would make Rai a -166 true moneyline favorite vs. Herbert if this was a tournament-long wager. It’s not but, over the long haul, Rai performs better in PGA Tour events. 

More importantly, Rai is an Englishman who is familiar with links-style courses and has better course history. Rai won the 2nd Scottish Open held at The Renaissance Club in 2020.

Aaron Rai poses with the trophy after beating Tommy Fleetwood in a one-hole play-off to win the 2020 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
Aaron Rai poses with the trophy after beating Tommy Fleetwood in a one-hole play-off to win the 2020 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Over the last 36 rounds, Rai ranks 9th in this field in both SG: Approach (APP) and SG: Ball striking (BS), per FantasyNational.com.

Finally, Rai got up and down this course much better in the 1st round. As of midway through the p.m. wave of the 1st round, Rai ranked 66th in SG: T2G and Herbert was 125th, per DataGolf.com. 

BET: 0.5u on Aaron Rai (-110) over Lucas Herbert in Round 2 of the 2023 Scottish Open

Betting odds for Aaron Rai vs. Lucas Herbert in the 2nd round of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open from DraftKings.
Betting odds for Aaron Rai vs. Lucas Herbert in the 2nd round of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open from DraftKings.

More 2023 Genesis Scottish Open Handicaps

GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN 2023: BEST 5 GOLFERS TO BACK

OutKick Bets Podcast’s Genesis Scottish Open 2023 betting preview Tuesday with Dan Zaksheske

Check out the Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by Geoff Clark on the OutKick Bets podcast feed. New episodes drop Tuesdays for most full-field PGA Tour events in the 2022-23 season.

Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.


Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.

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