After 3 years away the Scottish Open returns to Castle Stuart and we have some great value picks who are in search of victory the week before the Open Championship. Phil Mickelson is one of the biggest star names to make the trip and he won here back in 2013 on his way to an easy victory at Muirfield to win his first Claret Jug a week later. Other notable entries are BMW International winner Henrik Stenson and the man who Mickelson beat 3 years ago, Brandon Grace, who is ready and primed for his first major success next week after coming so close in recent majors.
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My first pick is Phil Mickelson, who loves these warm up events and has shown form in winning around here before. It’s forecast to be windy on day 1 & 2 and many of the field may struggle with the variable conditions, something that Lefty’s will cherish and where his short game will stand him in good stead. It’s not a long par 72 and in the past scoring has been very low, but you still need to be straight here and Phil’s driving has improved this season and that has in turn given him top 10 & 20 finishes all season. A runner up place at St Jude Classic and then a fairly good showing in the WGC at Bridgestone will fill him with confidence to get his game finely tuned for Troon next week.
Big hitting Belgium Nicolas Colsaerts enjoys playing here and these wide expansive fairways suit his style of play. He also has a deft touch for a man of his size and apart from the BMW International he’s had a really consistent couple of months. Third at The Nordea Masters and 22nd in France last week put him in with a shout in Scotland and if he can deal with the likely gusts then a really good performance is expected.
Alex Noren finished 3rd here in 2012 and again 3rd in The Alfred Dunhill in Scotland later that season. He enjoys playing in windy conditions and can be considered a links specialist behind the likes of Brandon Grace and Paul Lawrie. Last week he finished 8th in France which is a good return considering how hard the course set up is. He’s had an ok season so far after coming back from injury last year and his recent results point to a tilt at victory in the very near future.
Finally a massive priced outsider who has been playing nicely for a while. Richard Sterne European Tour stats read 10th in Ireland and 11th in France, a pretty good return considering he opened with a 76 in Paris, and he made three double bogeys and a triple over the weekend. If he can cut out the silly mistakes then he’s obviously in a good place with his game to be thereabouts on Sunday.
Advised Bets (9 points in total)
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Tagged with: Golf