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Golf’s UK Swing begins Thursday, July 13th with the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick. This is the 5th straight Scottish Open that’s been hosted at this course.
Reigning Scottish Open champion Xander Schauffele returns to defend his title vs. a field featuring World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 3 Rory McIlroy and 2023 U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark.
This Open field is made up of the top-75 golfers from both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour with a few sponsored exemptions. The Scottish Open is a co-sanctioned event by the aforementioned tours.
The Scottish Open is considered a “tune up” for golf’s 4th major, The Open Championship 2023, which tees off next week at Royal Liverpool Golf Club (Hoylake) in England.
Since I got my brains beat in on tournament matchups at last week’s John Deere Classic 2023, I’m scaling back my bet sizes. I’m only placing half-unit (u) wagers for the following …
Genesis Scottish Open 2023 Head-to-Heads
- Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Rickie Fowler (-110) > Viktor Hovland
The weather forecast says we could see wind gusts of 15+ mph and rain at The Renaissance Club this week. The biggest knock on Hovland’s game as it pertains to the Scottish Open is how he performs in windy conditions.
Hovland is 61st in this field for total Strokes Gained (SG) in “windy AF” weather over the last 50 rounds. He’s also 68th in total SG at comp courses used. This explains why Hovland is 13th in my Scottish Open power rankings and Fowler is 4th.
At the 2022 Scottish Open, Fowler shot +4 to finish T47 and Hovland missed the cut. Hovland bounced back the next week to finish T4 at The Open Championship 2022. While Fowler wasn’t invited to last year’s Open Championship.
Over the last 36 rounds, Fowler is 12th in SG: Ball striking and Hovland is 4th. But, since the greens at The Renaissance Club are so large, putting has an added importance at the Scottish Open. Fowler is 16th in SG: Putting and Hovland is 48th.
Lastly, Fowler is one of the few golfers in the world in better form than Hovland. Fowler just won the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has been T15 or better in nine of his last 10 starts including a T5 at the 2023 U.S. Open.
BET: 0.5u on Rickie Fowler (-110) > Viktor Hovland
Alex Noren (-110) > Alex Smalley
I’m chasing steam with Noren over Smalley at the Scottish Open. Noren was a +105 underdog at DraftKings when I recorded the OutKick Bets Podcast’s Genesis Scottish Open 2023 betting preview Tuesday with Dan Zaksheske.
Smalley being a favorite over Noren in the 1st place was an overreaction to recent performance. Over the last 24 rounds, Smalley is 15th in this field for total SG and Noren is 54th.
At last year’s Scottish Open, Smalley finished T10 and Noren was T30. Noren has that working against him as well. So why is money coming in on Noren? Squares aren’t betting Smalley-Noren matchups for the 2023 Scottish Open.
Noren is active on the DP World Tour and much more familiar with links-style courses. Noren finished T2 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October 2022 in a strong Dunhill field that included Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton.
Also, there are five Par 3s and large greens at The Renaissance Club. Over the last 36 rounds, Noren is 17th in this field for Par 3 scoring, 18th in SG: Putting, and 17th in 3-Putt Avoidance. Smalley is 46th in SG: Par 3, 122nd in SG: Putting, and 131st in 3-Putt Avoidance.
Lastly, Noren is 15th in total SG at comp courses and 23rd in total SG in windy weather conditions over the last 50 rounds. Whereas Smalley is 47th in total SG at comp courses and 44th in the wind.
BET: 0.5u on Alex Noren (-110) over Alex Smalley
Tom Kim (-110) > Lucas Herbert
Do you know how people blindly bet the SEC in non-conference college football games? That’s my rationale for betting Kim over Herbert at the Genesis Scottish Open 2023. It’s DP World Tour and PGA Tour co-sanctioned event.
Kim is in his 1st full season as a PGA Tour and burst on the scene at the 2022 Scottish Open. He has won two PGA Tour events since last October and finished T8 at the 2023 U.S. Open last month.
Herbert on the other hand ranks 8th on this year’s DP World Tour leaderboard. But, Herbert has missed the cut in three of his last four PGA Tour starts including the 2023 U.S. Open, Memorial, and Charles Schwab.
Furthermore, Kim finished 3rd at the 2022 Scottish Open and Herbert missed the cut. Kim is an elite ball striker and Herbert is a great putter. Yet Kim gained +1.09 strokes on the greens last year at the Scottish Open.
The Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) recognizes the gap between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. Kim is 25th in the OWGR and Herbert is 54th.
BET: 0.5u on Tom Kim (-110) over Lucas Herbert
More 2023 Genesis Scottish Open Handicaps
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.