Normally we only preview the PGA Tour events here at BangTheBook, but this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open has a star-studded field and is the final official tune-up for The Open Championship, so we’ll go across the pond to Gullane Golf Club to break this one down.

One spot remains for the PGA Tour players that are not in next week’s major and they’ll fight for that in the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. A lot of players that are playing at Carnoustie are at Gullane to get acclimated to the conditions and also avoid the jet lag that would come with a same-week trip.

This isn’t a new thing, as the Scottish Open has preceded The Open Championship every year since 1987. This year’s event is at Gullane, which last hosted the Scottish Open in 2015. The Scottish Open was actually held at Carnoustie in 1995 and 1996. Last year’s tournament was at Dundonald Links and the 2016 version was at Castle Stuart. In terms of course form data, we have the 2015 Scottish Open. The city of Gullane held the 2013 Open Championship, but that was at Muirfield.

There are 13 Americans in the field and a whole bunch of European Tour regulars that are either looking to secure a spot at The Open Championship or just play well in a very tough field. A lot of PGA Tour regulars are on hand as well, as this is probably the absolute strongest field we’ll see in a European Tour event thanks to the major that is on deck. Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, and Phil Mickelson are the four biggest names from the US that will tee it up at Gullane.

One of the big stories so far this week in Scotland is that Henrik Stenson has withdrawn with an injury. Stenson expects to play at Carnoustie, but that can’t be a good sign for his chances. Tommy Fleetwood is bypassing this week to rest for The Open. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Justin Thomas are among those sitting this one out.

The favorite this week per 5Dimes Sportsbook is Justin Rose at +900. Rose started out well with a couple of 66s back in 2015, but then he shot 72-76 to finish his weekend at even par. That was a 74th-place finish. Rose is playing very well right now. He was 10th at the US Open at Shinnecock after finishing sixth at Muirfield Village and first in Fort Worth at Colonial. His start in 2015 has to be promising for those looking at the lowest price on the board.

Rickie Fowler, who won this event back in 2015, is the second favorite at +1000. Fowler went 66-68-66-68 for the win, one shot ahead of Matt Kuchar and Raphael Jacquelin. Only six players were at least 10-under in that 2015 event and Fowler was the one that managed to come out on top. He finished 30th the following weekend at St. Andrews. Since missing the cut at The PLAYERS Championship, Fowler has four top-20 finishes, so he’s in decent form.

Masters champ Patrick Reed is at +1800 along with Tyrrell Hatton. Reed did not play here in 2015. It has been a mixed bag for Reed since that win at Augusta. He had back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Zurich Classic team event and the Wells Fargo Championship. Then he finished outside to top 40 at TPC Sawgrass and 29th at The Memorial. He was fourth at Shinnecock in the US Open and then missed the cut at the Travelers. It’s hard to pinpoint what he might do this week. Hatton tied for 22nd in 2015 at the Scottish Open, sliding up the board with a final-round 66 on a day when scoring was tricky. Hatton is 24th in scoring average on the European Tour this season across 28 rounds. He’s played very well on par 4s, which is a big deal this week with only two par 5s and some lengthy par 4s.

Hideki Matsuyama is also making an appearance this week. He’s +2000. We haven’t really seen or heard much from Matsuyama this season. Matt Kuchar, who was one of the runners-up in 2015, is at +2200 along with Andy Sullivan, a name that isn’t very well known to PGA Tour fans. Sullivan is fourth on the European Tour in scoring average across his 56 rounds. The only downside for Sullivan is that he tends to make up a lot of ground on par 5s, but he’s still at a decent price this week. He’s also been one of the better putters among regular European Tour players and is ninth in strokes gained off the tee.

Russell Knox is another interesting player at +2200. Knox is fifth in strokes gained tee to green over his 11 rounds. He also just won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at around +2800. Usually we see players lower than that following a win, but Knox is in a field with some very good players this week, which improves his price.

Those looking for a longer shot dart to throw at the board should check out Eddie Pepperell at +10000. Pepperell, the winner of the Qatar Masters earlier this year, tied for fourth here back in 2015 at 10-under with a 70-66-65-69.

Golf Channel will have coverage of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open throughout the week.

Odds as of July 9, 2 p.m. ET

Justin Rose +900

Rickie Fowler +1000

Patrick Reed +1800

Tyrrell Hatton +1800

Hideki Matsuyama +2000

Matt Kuchar +2200

Andy Sullivan +2200

Russell Knox +2200

Phil Mickelson +2500

Rafa Cabrera-Bello +2500

Louis Oosthuizen +2500

Ian Poulter +2500

Chris Wood +4000

Alexander Bjork +5000

Matthew Fitzpatrick +5000

Ryan Fox +5000

Thomas Pieters +5000

Peter Uihlein +5500

Paul Dunne +5500

Martin Kaymer +5500

Jorge Campillo +5500

Charley Hoffman +6000

Ross Fisher +6000

Julian Suri +6600

Haotong Li +6600

Lee Westwood +6600

Dylan Frittelli +6600

Kiradech Aphibarnrat +7000

Graeme McDowell +8000

Kevin Chappell +9000

Lucas Bjerregaard +10000

Matt Wallace +10000

Matthew Southgate +10000

Mike Lorenzo-Vera +10000

Eddie Pepperell +10000

Erik Van Rooyen +10000

Danny Willett +10000

Cameron Smith +10000

Alexander Levy +10000

Adrian Otaegui +10000

Thomas Detry +11000

Soren Kjeldsen +12500

Andrew Johnston +12500

George Coetzee +12500

Nicolas Colsaerts +12500

Martin Laird +12500

Luke List +12500

Jordan Smith +12500

Joakim Lagergren +15000

Mikko Ilonen +15000

Padraig Harrington +15000

Fabrizio Zanotti +15000

Dean Burmester +15000

Ashley Chesters +15000

Aaron Rai +15000

Benjamin Hebert +15000

Sam Horsfield +16000

Robert Rock +16000

Shubhankar Sharma +16000

Richie Ramsay +17500

Raphael Jacquelin +17500

Pablo Larrazabal +17500

Nacho Elvira +17500

Matthieu Pavon +17500

Marc Warren +20000

Chris Paisley +20000

David Horsey +20000

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano +20000

Hideto Tanihara +20000

Jeunghun Wang +20000

Bradley Dredge +20000

Callum Shinkwin +20000

Richard Sterne +20000

Scott Hend +20000

Wade Ormsby +20000

Yusaku Miyazato +20000

Christiaan Bezuidenhout +22500

Austin Connelly +25000

Andrea Pavan +25000

Jacques Kruyswijk +25000

David Drysdale +25000

David Lipsky +25000

Lorenzo Gagli +25000

Julien Guerrier +25000

Maximilian Kieffer +25000

Matteo Manassero +25000

Lee Slattery +25000

Oliver Fisher +25000

Thomas Aiken +25000

Thongchai Jaidee +25000

Stephen Gallacher +25000

Zander Lombard +27500

Nino Bertasio +27500

Justin Walters +30000

James Morrison +30000

Jamie Donaldson +30000

Adrien Saddier +30000

Scott Jamieson +30000

Romain Wattel +30000

Ricardo Gouveia +35000

Paul Waring +35000

Pedro Oriol +35000

Peter Hanson +35000

Jason Scrivener +35000

Haydn Porteous +35000

Gregory Bourdy +35000

Jens Dantorp +40000

Darren Fichardt +40000

Edoardo Molinari +40000

Ernie Els +40000

Andrew Dodt +40000

Ashun Wu +40000

Connor Syme +40000

Brandon Stone +40000

Brett Rumford +40000

Richard Bland +40000

Renato Paratore +40000

Steven Brown +40000

Alvaro Quiros +45000

Duncan Stewart +45000

Gavin Green +50000

David Howell +50000

Jinho Choi +50000

Gregory Havret +50000

Lasse Jensen +50000

Marcel Siem +50000

Adam Bland +50000

Andres Romero +50000

Bradley Neil +50000

Charlie Ford +50000

Daniel Brooks +50000

Chris Hanson +50000

Sebastien Gros +50000

Scott Fernandez +50000

Ryan Evans +50000

Phachara Khongwatmai +50000

Robert Karlsson +50000

Sam Brazel +50000

Soomin Lee +60000

Tapio Pulkkanen +60000

Oliver Farr +60000

Jamie McLeary +60000

Thomas Bjorn +62500

Peter Whiteford +75000

Jason Norris +75000

Clement Sordet +75000

Chase Koepka +75000

Carlos Pigem +100000

Daniel Im +100000

Conor O’Neil +100000

Darren Clarke +100000

Rak Hyun Cho +100000

S.S.P. Chawrasia +100000

Trevor Immelman +100000




The tragic and terrible flooding in West Virginia has left us with only one golf event this week. It’s across the pond at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland. This is the last chance for European Tour players to gain entry into The Open Championship, which will be played at Royal Troon next week. The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is a great appetizer for next week’s main course and there are a lot of top-notch players in attendance this week.

As mentioned, awful floods washed out the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, so this is the only event that golf fans will have to follow this week. That’s certainly not a bad thing because it is a loaded event. Rory McIlroy and the Big Three from the PGA Tour are not there, but a handful of very familiar Americans, including a past champion, are on hand to tee it up this weekend.

This is the fourth time that Castle Stuart Golf Links has held the Scottish Open. The first time was when the tournament was under the sponsorship of Barclays and Luke Donald was victorious in the weather-shortened event. Only 54 holes were played and Donald was 19-under. This is a course that can see some very good scores. Jeev Miikha Singh won in 2012 at 17-under by topping Francesco Molinari in a playoff. Phil Mickelson had the same winning score after topping Branden Grace in a playoff.

Castle Stuart is your typical course in that region of the world. Wind and rain can play a factor on the par 72, 7200-yard track. There are a lot of undulating greens and plenty of sand traps. There are a lot of long, straight holes that require accuracy off the tee and on the approach. There isn’t a lot of margin for error because areas of rough are basically unplayable, so anything outside the first cut can lead to doubles and triples. As seen by the winning scores posted here in the past Scottish Open events, it can be a good course for birdies or better with clean swings and good putting. The cut was 1-under in both 2013 and 2012 here at Castle Stuart.

The name at the top of the odds board at 5Dimes Sportsbook is Henrik Stenson. Stenson (+805) hasn’t played this event since 2013, the last time it was at Castle Stuart Golf Links. He played extremely well that week and finished tied for third at 15-under, but he certainly could have done better. Stenson’s 70-64-66 had him in the catbird’s seat for a while, but he fired a 73 on Sunday and wound up losing by two shots to Phil Mickelson and Branden Grace. Mickelson ended up victorious in a playoff, but Stenson was on his game. He also tied for eighth in 2012 at this same course. Stenson withdrew from the US Open a couple weeks ago and has missed two straight cuts, so he’s not in the greatest form.

Speaking of Branden Grace, he’s the second favorite at +1100. Grace was the runner-up here in 2013 when he lost to Phil Mickelson in a playoff. He narrowly made the cut in 2012, but finished tied for 68th at 3-under. He did not play here in 2011. Grace has been in really solid form recently. He was 57th at the PLAYERS Championship, but he was 10th at Firestone last week and fifth at Oakmont three weeks ago. He won the RBC Heritage in April. He hasn’t played a European Tour event since he won the Qatar Masters back in January. He’s been in the top five of his last three European Tour starts.

Martin Kaymer is the third favorite at 5Dimes at +1400. Kaymer hasn’t played this event since 2012, when he finished 29th at Castle Stuart. He shot 67-68-69, but then finished with a final-round 74 that cost him a lot of money and some points in the standings. Kaymer doesn’t have much of a track record in this event over the last five years, but he won at Loch Lomond in 2009. He’s played well in European Tour events, with three straight top-seven finishes, but he hasn’t cracked the top 35 in a PGA Tour event since the Dell Match Play.

Phil Mickelson has one win in a European Tour exclusive event. It was this one in 2013 when he topped Branden Grace in a playoff on this very course. His other European Tour wins are in majors or WGC events. Because this event often falls right before The Open Championship, it’s almost an annual staple on Lefty’s calendar. He was 31st last year at Gullane and 11th at Royal Aberdeen in 2014. His win in 2013 really stands out and he also was 12-under here in 2012, though it wasn’t the prettiest of events. He shot an opening-round 73, but then went 64-65, before finishing with a 74. Mickelson is at +1600 here this week and could be knocking on the door of a win.

Shane Lowry will get a lot of consideration at +1800. In the three previous Scottish Opens at Castle Stuart, Lowry has finished 31st (7-under), 11th (13-under), and 14th (12-under). Lowry was second at the U.S. Open. He struggled at Firestone, but got better as the weekend went on, so he does carry a little bit of momentum into this event.

This has been a good course for Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts. Colsaerts checks in at +4500 this week. He finished tied for eighth in 2013, four shots back of the pace set by Mickelson and Grace. In 2012, Colsaerts played well, but 8-under was only good enough for 36th. In 2011, Colsaerts was 14-under through 54 holes before weather caused the tournament to end at that point. He was third to start June at the Nordea Masters and was 22nd last week on a tough track at Le Golf National.

Those looking for a Hail Mary can give Simon Dyson a shot. Dyson is +50000 this week. He was 12th in 2013 at 10-under, shooting a consistent 70-69-69-70 over the course of the weekend. He was 10-under in 2012 as well, as a final-round 74 pushed him down the board. Dyson was 11-under through 54 holes in 2011, as the soft conditions allowed for a lot of low scores. He plays really well here, so top five or top 10 props could be in the works for him.

Golf Channel will have all the coverage you need of this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.