Sean Goff | Scottish Open preview
Colin Montgomerie was the last ‘Scotsman’ to win his home Open in 1999 – back when the master of gruff dominated the fairways . It wasn’t long before a winning Monty – like Andy Murray – was claimed as British – but unlike Murray, Mrs Doubtfire never won a Major.
The Open Championship is up next week and while Castle Stuart won’t be as stern a test as Muirfield – unless the elements have their say – everyone wants to get their eye in on a links course where reigning Open champion Ernie Els heads Paddy’s market at 20/1.
Paddy Power is paying out on the first six home and here’s the six best-backed players you punters have latched on to ahead of Thursday’s tee-off, via our database as of 11am on Wednesday.
1. Stephen Gallacher 50/1
Finished eighth in France last week and has previously been a best-placed fourth in the 2010 Scottish Open. Is heading for his best year on Tour after winning the Dubai Desert Classic in February. But while he’s an accurate boomer of the tee – needs to get hot with the flat stick on Castle Stuart’s tricky greens to register a first home win since Monty 14 years ago.
2. Shane Lowry 28/1
On the down low since finishing fifth in the Irish Open, Lowry has been playing better than his bare form figures suggests. Was T12 at Wentworth and shot the joint lowest score of the day in the final round in Germany and seen as a lively outsider for Muirfield next week. Steve Palmer’s main selection in the Racing Post.
3. Francesco Molinari 33/1
The Italian was beaten in a play-off last year by India’s Jeev Mikha Singhand is still chasing his first Tour win since the Open de Espanana last year. Finished T18 in France last weekend after a day three 67 on put him in contention before a final day 73 knocked him back. Two Top 10s in May mean he’s not that far away.
4. Martin Laird 45/1
Been dining at the top table on the US Tour and won the Valero Texas Open in his adopted homeland in April. Equalled the course-record 63 before a pop at the US Masters & US Open. Returns as one of 18 Scots in the field hoping to deliver the goods.
5. Marc Warren 50/1
Threw away a three-stroke lead over his final four holes last year to finished T3 with Alex Noren behind Singh and Molinari. Lost a three-way play-off to Matteo Manassero and Simon Kham at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May but his T13 at France means a third European Tour win isn’t an impossibility.
6. Soren Kjeldsen 55/1
Hard to pick him out in a line-up but the Dane was T5 here last year and went low with a 64 on day three. A final round 72 killed his dream of winning for the first time since the Open de Andelucia in March 2009. T8 in France last weekend, three Top 20 finishes this season and some solid course form to work on.
- Betting: Drive into the Scottish Open betting here >
- Betting: Tee off for next week’s Open Championship here >