Golf picks: Scottish Open predictions & best bets from James Mason

Aaron Rai hits his tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament.
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James Mason


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Golf handicapper for Pickswise with many years of experience in the sports betting content sphere.
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All eyes will be on defending Scottish Open champion Rory McIlroy at The Renaissance Club this week, with the Northern Irishman making his first appearance since his gut-wrenching US Open defeat in June. With the British Open taking place at Royal Troon, also in Scotland, next week, it will be interesting to see how the world number two performs in the co-sanctioned event in North Berwick and just how much that Major slip at Pinehurst has affected him.

Scottish Open golf picks and predictions

Aaron Rai (+5500)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

The Renaissance Club hosts the Scottish Open for the sixth year in a row and there looks to be a strong chance a former champion at this venue can come out on top again. McIlroy is the expected name, but instead it could be Aaron Rai at big odds who becomes a repeat winner. Englishman Rai lifted the trophy in 2020, overcoming Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff, and his form has really picked up on the PGA Tour over the last couple of months, propelling him to a career-high world ranking of 53rd. The 29-year-old has always been a stellar tee-to-green player — he ranks 10th in strokes gained in this category on the PGA Tour — but putting deficiencies have halted his progress and a cold flat stick just won’t suffice this week.

It is, therefore, encouraging to see Rai’s putting numbers over the last 2 tournaments, which coincide with him starting work with putting coach John Graham prior to the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The Englishman was 10th in strokes gained: putting in Detroit before he finished first in that category at the John Deere last week. Something has certainly clicked on the greens for Rai and it would be no surprise to see him claim the Scottish Open spoils for the second time, a victory that would also secure his spot at The 152nd British Open.

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Corey Conners (+4500)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Corey Conners has enjoyed some positive results in recent weeks, the highlights being a T9 finish at the US Open and finishing sixth at the Canadian Open, and he looks dangerous here. The 32-year-old has improved with every trip to the Renaissance Club, going missed cut, 61st and 19th, and he has had other solid results at links events with a T15 at the 2021 Open the pick of the bunch.

Ranking eighth in strokes gained: tee to green and fourth in approach, there have been no issues with Conners’ long game and the only area letting him down has been the putting. But he has looked better on the greens of late and this heightened belief with the flat stick should stand him in good stead.

Thomas Detry (+9000)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

It’s hard to believe that Thomas Detry is yet to win on either the DP World Tour or PGA circuit given how classy a player he is, but that could all change this week at a course where he has performed well before. The Belgian lost out in a playoff here in 2021 before racking up a top-10 finish 12 months later and it is interesting to see the tournaments he has impressed in of late heading into this event. Detry was T4 at the PGA Championship and T14 at the US Open, showing he can mix it on the biggest stages, and the fact he is sixth in strokes gained: putting this season should give him an advantage in North Berwick.

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