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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Genesis Scottish Open (2024)


With the naming of the Champion Golfer of the Year just a week away, many of the Tour’s best head over-the-pond for the final tune-up for The Open Championship in this week’s Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.


This event joined the PGA Tour schedule in 2022 as the first co-sanctioned event by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.


The partnership now see’s 75 golfers from each the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour battling it out for supremacy in the birthplace of golf.


As previously mentioned, this is the ideal tune-up for next week’s The Open Championship as the PGA Tour regulars get a chance to take on a links style course in preparation.


The Field

We saw a field lacking star power last week at the John Deere Classic as the world’s best headed overseas to begin their The Open Championship prep.


Many of those who opted out of the John Deere Classic will tee it up this week however.


The field is headlined by Rory McIlroy who will be making his first appearance since his back-nine blow-up at the U.S. Open. McIlroy is also the defending champion of this event, as he chased down Robert MacIntyre to win.


Xander Schauffele won the inaugural co-sanctioned event in 2022 and is back this week to headline along with McIlroy.


Other notable names teeing up this week include Ludvig Aberg, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Kim.


Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay headline the list of notable absences this week. Cantlay also withdrew from last week’s John Deere Classic so something worth monitoring.


Other notable absences include Tony Finau, Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley and Akshay Bhatia.


Other past champions of this event, although on the DP World Tour, include Aaron Rai (2020,) Min Woo Lee (2021,) Bernd Wiesberger (2019,) Alex Noren (2016,) Rickie Fowler (2015,) Justin Rose (2014,) and Luke Donald (2014.)


The Course

The Renaissance Club is described as a modern Scottish links course that was established in 2008.


As a modern links course set in the birthplace of golf, the course differs from the usual PGA TOUR tracks but offers a change of pace.


It plays as a par-71 at 7,293 yards and offers a unique mixture of four par-fives, five par-threes and nine par-fours.


The Renaissance Club is a Tom Doak design and has become the most notable achievement in his famed architectural career. Courses on TOUR that Doak designed include Memorial Park and St. George’s.


This course has become the home of the Scottish Open on the DP World Tour, the Scottish Senior Open on the European Senior Tour and the Ladies Scottish Open on the Ladies European Tour.


This year marks the sixth consecutive year that the Scottish Open has been played at The Renaissance Club.


Sitting just outside of Edinburgh and on the coastline, the course is exposed to the North Sea. That makes it susceptible to significant swings in weather conditions from day-to-day. Again, like what we see at The Open, making this event a perfect warm-up for golf’s final Major of the season.


The fairways here are wide and generous but do run firm and fast, as is the way of link style courses. Although the fairways are wide and generous, there is the presence of penal fescue and pot bunkers that will require correct positioning off the tee.


With the firm and fast conditions of the fairways, this style of course tempts golfers to use the ground more often for increased rollouts, especially when the winds are increased.


This, of course, will give an advantage to golfers who are familiar with playing in high winds and extreme weather conditions.


Although those with above-average distance off the tee should see an advantage this week, the roll-outs on the fairways have kept short hitters in contention over the last five years.


This course includes four reachable par-fives, a driveable par-four  and five par-fours over 450 yards, which gives advantages to the long-bombers.


Subtle intricacies on the greens will cause fits to even the World’s best putters. Those intricacies of the greens were the design philosophy by Doak.


Due to this, short game and around-the-green work will be crucial this week.


The elements will dictate the difficulty of the course this week. 


During calm weather, golfers can easily score low here, which was the case in 2019 with the winning score coming in at -22.


When the winds and weather are a factor, the winning mark can be cut in half or even a third. Schauffele won at just -7 two years ago.


Those of the DP World Tour can see an advantage this week as this serves as a unique test for the PGA TOUR golfers. These conditions that are possible are aspects that those of the DP World Tour are all too familiar with. 


In all, this is a course and event that should be won by a golfer that is elite in ball-striking with plus distance off the tee.


The Weather

It wouldn’t be golf in Scotland if there wasn’t a chance of rain. As of the time of writing this, there is a 30-percent chance of precipitation on Thursday and a 40-percent chance on both Friday and Saturday. There is a 20-percent chance of precipitation on Sunday. Winds will peak at just ten miles-per-hour on Thursday and Sunday and will be at the lowest on Saturday at just seven miles-per-hour. This of course, does not include the possibilities of coastal winds. Temperatures will be much lower than what the PGA Tour has been used to as of late. Temperatures will range from 58-degrees on Thursday before peaking at 61-degrees on Sunday. In all, this is exactly what we would picture of a golf tournament in Scotland.


Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Ball Striking

  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG)

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)

  • Par Three Average Scoring

  • Par Five Average Scoring

  • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Average Driving Distance

  • Birdie or Better Percentage

  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT) / Three-Putt Avoidance

  • Scrambling


DFS Suggestions

$10,000+

If Xander Schauffele ($11,700) is in the field, you know I’m going to play him. Obviously you’re spending up on him as the second most expensive golfer in this field but that’s for good reason. In his last five outings, he placed second at the Wells Fargo Championship, he won the PGA Championship, placed T8th at the Memorial Tournament, T7th at the U.S. Open and T13th at the Travelers Championship. In 14 events he’s played this season (excluding the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) he has placed top 25 in all of them. He also placed top-ten in 11 of them and top-five in six of them. Schauffele is currently first on tour in both bogey avoidance and three-putt avoidance, second in SG: TTG, third in all of ball striking, par three average scoring and birdie or better percentage, fifth in both SG: APP and par five average scoring, tenth in SG:OTT, 12th in SG: PUTT, 28th in SG: ATG and 35th in average driving distance. In other words, he’s top 35 in each of the 12 statistical categories I took into consideration this week. He also won this event in 2022. Also consider Ludvig Aberg ($10,500.) Coming into this week, Aberg placed T27th in his last outing at the Travelers Championship, which is one of his worst performances on the season. Prior to that he placed T12th at the U.S. Open and T5th at the Memorial Tournament. He also placed T10th at the RBC Heritage, second at the Masters, eighth at THE PLAYERS Championship, second at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am and T9th at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has ten top-25’s in 14 events and six top-tens. Aberg is also fifth on Tour in ball striking, ninth in SG: APP, 12th in SG: TTG, 14th in both SG: OTT and scrambling, 20th in birdie or better percentage, 24th in average driving distance, 27th in par-three average scoring, 50th in par-five average scoring, 65th in three-putt avoidance, 73rd in SG: PUTT and 87th in SG ATG. In other words, he’s above average in each of the 12 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. I’m also playing two units on him at +1600.


$9,000-$9,900

My first play in this price range is Tommy Fleetwood ($9,900.) I am a bit concerned about his potential ownership number but I love what he brings to the table this week. On the PGA Tour he is currently tenth in scrambling, 25th in SG: ATG, 28th in three-putt avoidance, 30th in ball striking, 49th in both SG: TTG and SG: PUTT, 51st in SG: OTT, 54th in par-three average scoring, 100th in average driving distance, 111th in SG: APP, 124th in par-five average scoring and 143rd in birdie or better percentage. Fleetwood has also rattled off four consecutive top-25 finishes heading into this week. He placed 15th in his last outing at the Travelers Championship, T16th at the U.S. Open, T20th at the Memorial Tournament and T21st at the RBC Canadian Open. He also placed T26th at the PGA Championship, T13th at the Wells Fargo Championship, T3rd at the Masters and T7th at the Valero Texas Open. Fleetwood has also been great at this event. Over the past two years that his event has been co-sanctioned between the PGA and DP World tours he placed T6th last year and T4th in 2022. I’m also playing two units on him at +2800. Also consider Hideki Matsuyama ($9,400.) Matsuyama is constantly one that pops in my models on any given week and that’s for good reason. He’s currently first on Tour in SG: ATG, third in scrambling, fourth in SG: TTG, 33rd in SG: APP, 38th in SG: OTT, 40th in par-three average scoring, 50th in par-five average scoring, 67th in ball striking, 72nd in birdie or better percentage, 105th in average driving distance, 113th in three-putt avoidance and 122nd in SG: PUTT. In his last three outings he placed T23rd at the Travelers Championship, sixth at the U.S. Open and T8th at the Memorial Tournament. He also had a run of events between The Genesis Invitational and Valero Texas Open where he won The Genesis Invitational, T12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T6th at THE PLAYERS Championship and T7th at the Valero Texas Open. 


$8,000-$8,900

My first suggestion in this price range is Aaron Rai ($8,300.) Although as a part of the DP World Tour, Rai won this event in 2020. He hasn’t had the best performances here the last two seasons but we can argue that he is currently playing the best golf of his career at this point. Over his last four outings, Rai has placed T7th at the John Deere Classic, T2nd at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, T19th at the U.S. Open and T14th at the RBC Canadian Open. He also placed T4th at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson and T7th at the Texas Children’s Open on the season. Rai is currently seventh on Tour in SG: APP, tenth in SG: TTG, 11th in ball striking, 17th in scrambling, 27th in par-three average scoring, 31st in SG: OTT, 50th in par-five average scoring, 57th in SG: ATG, 60th in birdie or better percentage, 70th in SG: PUTT, 77th in three-putt avoidance and 139th in average driving distance. Consistency has been the key for Rai as of late. Also consider Justin Thomas ($8,800.) Thomas has been in some great form as of late. He placed T5th in his last outing at the Travelers Championship. Although he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, he did place T5th at the RBC Heritage, T8th at the PGA Championship, T21st at the Wells Fargo Championship and T33rd at the Memorial Tournament. Thomas is currently third on Tour in SG: ATG, seventh in SG: TTG, eighth in in SG: APP, 18th in par-five average scoring, 22nd in birdie or better percentage, 27th in average driving distance, 40th in par-three average scoring, 49th in three-putt avoidance, 59th in SG: OTT, 77th in scrambling and 79th in ball striking. He is 157th in SG: PUTT which has always been Thomas’ downfall. He did gain 1.52 strokes on the greens in his last outing at the Travelers Championship. I’m also playing a unit on him at +4000 this week.


$7,000-$7,900

Davis Thompson ($7,900) won for me a week ago so I’m going back to the well. At times, he’s hard to maintain excellence on the PGA Tour from week to week. The demands of competing and winning an event takes a lot of a person. However, I feel like doing so in a comfortable manner with complete control of his game won’t see Thompson take a step back this week. Thompson is currently fifth on Tour in SG: ATG, eighth in birdie or better percentage, ninth in par-five average scoring, 13th in SG: TTG, 17th in ball striking, 24th in SG: APP, 40th in par-three average scoring, 45th in average driving distance, 57th in SG: OTT, 61st in SG: APP, 77th in three-putt avoidance and 79th in scrambling. In other words, he’s above average in each of the 12 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. Outside of winning last week at the John Deere Classic, Thompson also placed T2nd at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, T9th at the U.S. Open, T27th at the Memorial Tournament, T17th at the Charles Schwab Challenge and T2nd at the Myrtle Beach Classic. Also consider Si Woo Kim ($7,500.) Kim is the model of consistency. In 18 events he’s played this season, he has made the cut in 17 of them. He also has ten top-25 finches on the season. Kim is currently 11th on Tour in SG: TTG, 13th in scrambling, 15th in SG: APP, 18th in par-five average scoring, 20th in SG: OTT, 33rd in SG: ATG, 34th in three-putt avoidance, 54th in both ball striking and par-three average scoring, 73rd in birdie or better percentage, 137th in average driving distance and 149th in SG: PUTT. We talk about his putting often and he routinely loses strokes each-and-every week but still makes the cut and rattles off top-25 finishes. We’re not asking Kim to win this event, we’re asking him to get over the cut line and he does that better than almost anyone on Tour.


$6,000-$6,900

My first full-time DP World Tour guy leads this price range in Rasmus Hojgaard ($6,800.) Twin brother of PGA Tour’s Nicolai, Rasmus is arguably now the top talent on the DP World Tour. He’s fresh off a fourth place finish in his last outing at the KLM Open. Desert golf courses are often correlated to links play and earlier this season Hojgaard placed second at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, T8th at the Bahrain Championship, T6th at the Qatar Masters, T11th at the Dubai Invitational and T11th at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. He also placed T10th at this event in 2022. He is currently second on the DP World Tour in birdie or better percentage, fifth in both par-three average scoring and SG: PUTT, 15th in SG: OTT, 17th in SG: TTG, 21st in three-putt avoidance, 22nd in average driving distance, 33rd in par five average scoring, 42nd in SG: ATG, 44th in scrambling and 49th in SG: APP. In other words, he’s top 50 in each of the 11 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. I’m also playing a unit on him at +10000 to win this week. Also consider Andrew Novak ($6,200.) Novak has been in some great form coming into this week. He placed T7th last week at the John Deere Classic. He also placed T20th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T14th at the RBC Canadian Open. He also had a run of events earlier this season where he placed T8th at the WM Phoenix Open, T8th at the Mexico Open and T9th at the Cognizant Classic. Novak is currently third on Tour in par-three average scoring, 14th in three-putt avoidance, 20th in SG: TTG, 27th in SG: APP, 34th in scrambling, 38th in birdie or better percentage, 44th in SG: ATG, 57th in SG: PUTT, 65th in ball striking, 66th in SG: OTT, 82nd in average driving distance and 83rd in par-five average scoring. In other words, he’s above average in each of the 12 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. I’m also playing a unit on him at +20000 to win.


$5,900-

My first play in this price range is Max Greyserman ($5,900.) Greyserman has made the cut in three consecutive events coming into this week. In those three events he placed T26th at the John Deere Classic, T31st at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T21st at the U.S. Open. He is currently 14th on Tour in average driving distance, 37th in par-five average scoring, 41st in SG: PUTT, 49th in ball striking, 70th in SG: OTT, 77th in par-three average scoring, 87th in three-putt avoidance, 97th in SG: TTG, 99th in scrambling, 104th in SG: APP and 115th in SG: ATG. Not a bad resume for someone in this price range. Also consider Julien Guerrier ($5,600.) My second DP World Tour regular, Guerrier has rattled off four straight top-25 finishes coming into this week. He also has placed top 25 in five in his last six events. He placed T13th in his last outing at the BMW International Open, T22nd at the Italian Open, T20th at the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed and T4th at the European Open. Guerrier is currently 19th on the DP World Tour in scrambling, 21st in par-five average scoring, 27th in SG: ATG, 28th in par-three average scoring, 38th in SG: OTT, 42nd in par-three average scoring, 49th in average driving distance, 58th in birdie or better percentage, 60th in SG: APP, 62nd in three-putt avoidance and 68th in SG: PUTT. In other words, he’s above average in each of the 11 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. 


Betting Card

  • Ludvig Aberg (+1600)

  • Tommy Fleetwood (+2800)

  • Tom Kim (+3500)

  • Justin Thomas (+4000)

  • Rasmus Hojgaard (+10000)

  • Andrew Novak (+20000)


Tom Kim (+3500)

In his last two outings at this event, Kim placed T6th a year ago and solo third in 2022. On top of that, he placed T2nd at The Open Championship a season ago. He seems to have figured things out at links style courses. He missed the cut a week ago but that also was his ninth consecutive event played on Tour fresh off losing to World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler in a playoff at the Travelers Championship. Prior to that, he made ten consecutive cuts. He is also 27th on Tour in birdie or better percentage, 35th in ball striking, 57th in SG: TTG, 68th in par-five average scoring, 71st in SG: OTT, 73rd in SG: APP, 74th in SG: ATG, 77th in par-three average scoring, 93rd in SG: PUTT, 106th in both average driving distance and scrambling and 127th in three-putt avoidance. 

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