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Vincenzi’s 2024 Genesis Scottish Open betting preview: Hovland primed to deliver across the pond

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As we prepare for the 152nd Open Championship, the PGA TOUR will make one final stop to play the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. The tournament is a co-sanctioned event between the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR with a field composed of members from both tours.

The Renaissance Club is a 7,293-yard Par 71. The Tom Doak design is a links style golf course and should provide players with the chance to acclimate to links golf as part of their preparation for the Open Championship.

The Scottish Open will play host to 156 golfers and the field is incredibly strong. The only notable exception amongst the top players on the PGA Tour are Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and Tony Finau. 

Past Winners at the Genesis Scottish Open

  • 2023: Rory McIlroy (-15)
  • 2022: Xander Schauffele (-7)
  • 2021: Min Woo Lee (-18)
  • 2019: Aaron Rai (-11)
  • 2018: Bernd Wiesberger (-22)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For The Renaissance Club

Let’s take a look at the key metrics for The Renaissance Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

The modeling will have some limitations this week, as half the field has been playing primarily on the DP World Tour. Therefore, the more recent statistics for the players’ DP World Tour performances will not be included in the Strokes Gained metrics.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach will once again be the most important statistic this week. The course record is held by Bernd Weisberger, who has been one of the most precise iron players in the world throughout the course of his career.

SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Corey Conners (+0.94)
  2. Xander Schauffele (+0.94)
  3. Aaron Rai (+0.93)
  4. Sepp Straka (+0.93)
  5. Ludvig Aberg (+0.88) 

2. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee 

Off the Tee will certainly be a factor this week. The Renaissance club features relatively tight fairways, and longer hitters have fared well here in the past as well.

SG: Off The Tee over Past 24 rounds

  1. Min Woo Lee (+0.93)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+0.91)
  3. Keith Mitchell (+0.89)
  4. Kevin Yu (+0.75) 
  5. Viktor Hovland (+0.73)

3. Course History

This statistic will factor in players who have had success at The Renaissance Club. 

Cours History Over Past 8 Rounds

  1. Rory McIlroy (+3.55)
  2. Tom Kim (+2.35) 
  3. Byeong Hun An (+2.30)
  4. Tommy Fleetwood (+2.23)
  5. Robert MacIntyre (+2.12) 

Strokes Gained: Putting (Slow)

The greens in Scotland are typically much slower than many of the players who play primarily on the PGA Tour are used to. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate which TOUR players have had success on slower greens.

Strokes Gained: Putting (Slow) Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Mathieu Pavon (+1.84)
  2. Justin Lower (+1.54) 
  3. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+1.48)
  4. Marcel Siem (+1.23)
  5. Mark Hubbard (+1.17)

Par 3 Scoring

With five Par 3’s on the course, it’ll be crucial to play them effectively in order to contend.

Par 3 Scoring Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Andrew Novak (2.92)
  2. Sam Stevens (2.92)
  3. Xander Schauffele (2.95)
  4. Jordan Smith (2.95)
  5. Erik Van Rooyen (2.96)

Strokes Gained: UK and Ireland

This statistic will tell us who’s played well in this region of the world. 

Strokes Gained: UK and Ireland Over Past 36 Rounds

  1. Rory McIlroy (+2.59)
  2. Jordan Spieth (+2.22)
  3. Tom Kim (+2.12)
  4. Tommy Fleetwood (+1.83)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+1.72)

The Genesis Scottish Open Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: App (27%), Course History (13%), SG: UK and Ireland (13%), SG: OTT (21%) Par 3 (13%), and SG: Putting (Slow) (13%).

  1. Xander Schauffele
  2. Rory McIlroy
  3. Byeong Hun An
  4. Tom Kim
  5. Tommy Fleetwood
  6. Collin Morikawa
  7. Keith Mitchell
  8. Corey Conners
  9. Viktor Hovland
  10. Aaron Rai

2024 Genesis Scottish Open Picks

Viktor Hovland +2000 (FanDuel)

It was a rocky beginning to the 2024 campaign for Viktor Hovland, but recent results point to his return to top form in the near future. Last year’s Tour champion has finished in the top-25 in four of his past five starts including a solo 3rd place finish at the PGA Championship.

Hovland should be a great fit for the Renaissance Club. Last year, he finished in a tie for 25th but there certainly seems to be room for growth given his skill set and what the course demands. In his past 36 rounds in the UK and Ireland, Hovland ranks 6th in Strokes Gained: Total. He also ranks 10th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 6th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee over his past 24 rounds. The Norwegian has historically been a great putter on slow greens and should be able to maneuver his way around the greens with little difficult at the Renaissance Club. Last year, he gained 2.7 strokes around the green for the week.

Hovland has slowly been building towards his peak form this season, and I believe he will put it all together very soon. It just may be at the Scottish Open this week.

Tommy Fleetwood +2500 (FanDuel)

Time is running out in 2024 for Tommy Fleetwood to earn his first PGA Tour win, but this week’s Scottish Open is arguably his best chance to do so. The Englishman has become infamous for his inability to win thus far in the United States, so a trip across the pond should do wonders for Tommy’s confidence.

Fleetwood has been incredibly consistent over his past six starts. He hasn’t finished worse than 26th and five of the six of those starts came in either a major or a signature event, so he’s been competing against the best of the best. Over his past 24 rounds, Tommy ranks 16th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach and 21st in Strokes Gained: Putting on slow greens.

Fleetwood has been absolutely incredible at The Renaissance Club. Since the Scottish Open has become a PGA Tour event, he’s finished T4 in 2022 and T6 in 2023. In both of those starts, he’s gained strokes substantially in all major statistical categories. When the Scottish Open was a DP World Tour event only, Fleetwood lost in a playoff to Aaron Rai in 2020.

While playing in the UK, Tommy Fleetwood is a completely different player. The seven-time DP World Tour winner is a great player in America, but when it comes to links golf across the pond he is amongst the super elite. It’s hard to see a scenario in which “Tommy Lad” is not in contention down the stretch this week.

Tom Kim +3000 (FanDuel)

Tom Kim was playing some incredible golf before finally running out of steam at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he missed the cut as the tournament favorite. It was a much-needed break for the young star, as he played nine consecutive events before taking last week off.

Now that the South Korean is regrouped and recharged, I like his chances at the Scottish Open. Over the past two seasons, Tom has finished 3rd and T6 at this event. He’s a player who’s shown that he repeatedly plays well at “his” spots and the early returns certainly indicate that this is one of them.

In his past eight rounds at the course, Kim ranks 1st in Strokes Gained: Total. He also ranks 3rd in Strokes Gained in the UK and Ireland over his past 36 rounds, showing he enjoys playing in this region. Over his past 24 rounds, he ranks 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 11th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. The 22-year-old is a strong play both in terms of course fit and recent form.

Tom has had a few close calls of late, including coming up just short in a playoff against the best player in the world at the Travelers Championship. Luckily for Tom, Scottie won’t be here this week.

Nicolai Hojgaard +8000 (FanDuel)

Another player who’s been a different player across the pond is Nicolai Hojgaard. At just 23 years old, the Dane has won three times on the DP World Tour including the Italian Open and the DP World Tour Championship. He’s beaten some high-end players in those tournaments and has also played in last year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.

While his finishes on the PGA Tour have been disappointing, he is still striking the ball extremely well. He’s gained strokes on approach in three consecutive events and ranks 25th in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in the UK and Ireland over his past 24 rounds. In his wind at last year’s DP World Tour Championship, he finished at -21, beating Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland by two strokes. If the scoring is easier this weekend, Nicolai is the type of birdie-maker who can keep up.

It’s been a disappointing year thus far for Hojgaard, but I still believe the sky is the limit for this unique talent.

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19th Hole

LIV pro explains how he believes players are ‘cheating’ on DP World Tour

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Over the weekend, DP World Tour player Pablo Larrazabal hosted a Q and A on his X account.

One question he received was from former DP World Tour player and current LIV golfer, Thomas Pieters.

Pieters asked the Spaniard why slow play isn’t penalized much on the DP World Tour.

Another DP World Tour player, Romain Langasque responded to Pieters’ question.

“Actually a really good question !! maybe because slow player just accept to pay [fine] ! They pay to be slow ????”

Pieters had an interesting response to Lagasque’s comment. The Belgian said that he believes players who play slow are cheating.

“It’s in the R&A’s rule book how much time you can take so in my eyes they are cheating.. ?????”

What do you think? Is slow play cheating?

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Keegan Bradley selected as US Ryder Cup captain for 2025

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In a shocking turn of events, Keegan Bradley has been selected to be the United States’ next Ryder Cup captain.

Bradley is just 38 years old, which makes him the youngest Ryder Cup captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963. In 2023, Bradley was a contender for a captain’s pick at Marco Simone, but ultimately was not chosen. Not even a year later, he’s been made the captain of the 2025 team.

The 2025 Ryder Cup will take place at Bethpage Black, which is a course Keegan is extremely familiar with. He played his college golf at St. John’s University, which hosted tournaments at the course throughout his collegiate career.

Bradley only played in two Ryder Cups, going 4-3 cumulatively in his matches.

“I am incredibly honored to accept this opportunity to captain the United States Team at the 2025 Ryder Cup,” Bradley said in a statement released by the PGA of America. “I would like to thank the PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee for their trust in me as we embark on this journey to Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York.”

After the drubbing in Rome, it appears the United States team is looking for a spark in the form of a local player who can rally the team and crowd at Bethpage.

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Smylie Kaufman says Rory McIlroy’s caddie ‘really should have stepped in’ on crucial shot at U.S. Open

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It’s been almost a month since the U.S. Open, but the disappointing finish for Rory McIlroy is still fresh on the minds of plenty of people in the golf world.

Amongst the people analyzing Rory’s performance on that Sunday at Pinehurst is golf analyst Smylie Kaufman. While appearing on Golf’s Subpar podcast, the former pro said he believes McIlroy’s caddie, Harry Diamond, should have done more to help Rory.

“I felt like (caddie) Harry Diamond really should have stepped in on the 15th hole.”

“He did not have the right club in his hands. And I felt like Rory could have taken control of the championship on 15 if he just hits it in the middle of the green. And he hit a good shot. But it just was the wrong club.

“And never, never was a 7-iron for Rory. Especially with a right flag. If the wind was down off the right, it’s not exactly a flag and a wind condition and the heat to be able to land it in a hula hoop, where you got to hit this kind of soft, spinny, fade 7-iron. It was an 8-iron all day, hit it in the middle of the green.”

Diamond’s place as McIlroy’s caddie has been called into question for almost a decade now, but many argue that Rory isn’t looking for a caddie to give an enormous amount of advice anyway.

“I don’t really ever see Harry stepping in a ton. Rory always, if he has a question, he’ll ask, but for the most part, Rory kind of goes and does his thing and he’s got a lot of feel,” Kaufman added. “In my head, as a player, when you execute a shot exactly how you’re supposed to and it ends up in a terrible spot, you have to look at, all right, what happened here. Because that’s what happened at the 15th hole.”

McIlroy would on to bogey holes 15, 16 and 18 and missed two putts under five feet on the latter bogeys. He would lose by one shot to Bryson DeChambeau, who made a magnificent up and down from the fairway bunker on the 18th hole to seal his 2nd U.S. Open victory.

Rory has shown no desire to move on from Diamond at any point and at the moment it doesn’t seem to be under consideration from the Northern Irishman.

The four-time major champion will tee it up at this week’s Scottish Open for the first time since his U.S. Open defeat.

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