The Bullseye- Scottish Open

Ryan Baroff
By Ryan Baroff July 10, 2018 15:37

The Bullseye- Scottish Open

This week we head to Scotland for the annual Scottish Open, the final tune-up before the Open Championship at Carnoustie. This event is on a course rotation, but we last visited Gullane in 2015. That year, it was Rickie Fowler lifting the trophy before a mediocre finish at St. Andrews. This is a massive event in Europe, as there are Open Championship spots, a giant purse, and valuable Ryder Cup points up for grabs. Besides Fowler, this field is loaded with studs like Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, and Matt Kuchar.
Gullane is the host course this week, and it’s a classical links-style course on the upper, Northwest corner of Scotland. The course is a par-70 measuring around 7,100 yards. If the weather cooperates, Gullane will be playing firm and fast, with sloped fairways, deep bunkers, and long rough challenging the players. There are only two par-5s on the course, and one is reachable for nearly every player in the field. There are also a handful of very short par-4s, but accuracy will be at a premium. Typically, I target the methodical plodders on links-style courses, as those are typically the players who have performed well on links courses in the past. Looking back at the leaderboard from 2015, here are the players who finished right behind Fowler: Matt Kuchar, Raphael Jacquelin, Marc Warren, Eddie Pepperell, Joost Luiten, Luke Donald, and Ross Fisher. Not a bomber in the bunch!
Links golf is all about safety and positioning, so I’m going to focus on approach shots. You can factor in off-the-tee as well, because if conditions are easy players will be able to overpower this track. With the addition of European Tour strokes gained stats, we have some extra data to help us find guys who have been playing well of late. Statistically, here’s what I’m targeting at the Scottish Open:

1) Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
2) Strokes Gained Approach
3) Greens in Regulation
4) Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee

And now on to the picks!
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Ryan Baroff
By Ryan Baroff July 10, 2018 15:37

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