The 2016 Scottish Open sees the tournament return to the Castle Stuart Links that hosted the tournament from 2011 to 2013. Those 3 renewals were won by Luke Donald, Jeev Milkha Singh and Phil Mickelson, three players who appreciate generous fairways followed by the need for a combination of pin-point iron-play and superior quality scrambling skills.
It’s a quality field this year, and the market is headed by recent winner Henrik Stenson. The Swede is impossible to rule out having previously finished 8th and 3rd here, but he may have one eye on next week’s Open Championship now he’s back in form. Lowry and Mickleson also have enough form here to warrant their market prices, but it’s 2013 runner-up Brandon Grace who gets this week’s vote from those at the head of the market.
Brandon Grace 1.5 points each-way @ 12/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
The South African has announced himself on the world stage since finishing runner-up here in 2013, and he’ll appreciate the chance to open his shoulders on the wide fairways, something which should give home plenty of chances to set up birdies.
Nicolas Colsaerts 1 point each-way @ 45/1 (Betfred, Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
The Belgian really took a liking to this track in past renewals, finishing 3/36/8, and is nearly back to the sort of form that earned him that third-placed finish in 2011. He’s another who should find lots more fairways here than he normally does, and that should let him post a low score.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (Betfair Sportsbook) ¼ odds 6 places
The Thai can fire his irons in really close when on song, and his recent fifth in Germany suggests he shouldn’t be far away. 38th on his only previous appearance here, he has performed brilliantly on his last two visits to Scotland, winning the Paul Lawrie Matchplay, and also finishing 4th in last year’s Dunhill Links competition.
Matthew Southgate 1 point each-way @ 150/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 6 places
He finished 57th here in 2013 but, having started brilliantly, he fired a Sunday 81. That may not be the best memory to bring with you, but this is a guy who’s beat cancer since. He’s also finished 4th in this year’s Irish Open, and has posted an 11th place and a 19th place since.
Peter Whiteford 0.5 Points each-way @ 500/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
The Scot has been plying his trade on the Challenge Tour recently, but he’ll see this as a chance to get back on the Main Tour. He led Luke Donald by a shot going into the final round in 2011, and finished 8th here in 2012. It’s a long-shot, but one that’s worth a small bet.