2023 Genesis Scottish Open Preview: Everything To Know About The Renaissance Club
The Genesis Scottish Open brings us overseas to Scotland for another 2023 PGA TOUR contest at The Renaissance Club. Find longer golf odds at the best sports betting sites to increase potential payouts. Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy top odds boards for this year’s Genesis Scottish Open.
The John Deere Classic lacked star power we’re accustomed to seeing on the PGA TOUR. Many already began their journey across the pond for the UK Swing, begining with the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open. A new age – or rebirth, if you will – of elite competition is in store at The Renaissance Club, with the best PGA TOUR and DP World Tour players set to clash in Scotland.
2022 marked the genesis of a partnership between the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour. It’s paid immediate dividends, with a links-style course offering a perfect week of prep before The Open Championship. The partnership seems a logical one, as the Scottish Open falls the week prior to the Open Championship and attracts major contenders for a tune-up.
I go by @PGATout on Twitter, in a literal sense that my golf expertise begins and ends with the PGA TOUR. That creates a bit of a blind spot with a field that features 75 DP World Tour players and no ShotLink data. However, four years of course history at the Scottish Open might reveal trends to guide us toward a player pool that spans both tours.
In true Scottish links style, the elements will dictate just how difficult the course will play. But all things being equal, we should expect in-form ball-strikers with plus distance, links experience, and crafty short games to rise to the top.
Ahead, we’ll run through the key facts and info about The Renaissance Club ahead of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open.
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THE FIELD AT A GLANCE
A loaded field sits in store, unlike anything we’ve seen before at the Scottish Open or any other DP World Tour event prior to 2022. Now co-sanctioned by two prominent professional tours, the field is composed of the top 75 players from each. With the exception of LIV golfers and Jon Rahm, who chose to take an extra week off, all of the top names in the sport are here in North Berwick.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler highlights the field, and he’s joined by a loaded cast of nine OWGR top-11 players. Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth, and Wyndham Clark will all tee it up in Scotland this week. Of the top 30 players in the world, 20 are featured, making this one of the most top-heavy fields of the season. Impressive, considering this does not have the designated event tag.
From the DP World Tour side, Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, Adrian Meronk, Lucas Herbert, Pablo Larrazabal, Victor Perez, Thriston Lawrence, Adrian Otaegui, Thorbjorn Olesen, and Jordan Smith represent the top 10 players in this event in terms of OWGR ranking.
Xander Schauffele is back to defend his 2022 title, and he’s joined by Lee and Aaron Rai to represent the past Scottish Open champions in the field.
Like the John Deere Classic, the Scottish Open serves as a final qualifying opportunity for the Open Championship. That, and the race toward Ryder Cup qualification, creates an interesting mix of those here to tune up for the last major of the year. It also serves as an opportunity for golfers to get on the radar of their Ryder Cup captains.
INTRODUCTION TO THE RENAISSANCE CLUB
The Renaissance Club is a modern Scottish links course established in 2008. The Tom Doak design has quickly become 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 fifth consecutive time which the Scottish Open is played here. In its second year as a PGA co-sanctioned event, it boasts a stronger field than what has recently been seen.
The Renaissance Club is one of Doak’s most notable achievements in his famed architectural career. On TOUR, we’ve grown familiar with his work on the re-designs of Memorial Park and St. George’s. Subtle intricacies of the greens define his design philosophy. That should reward players with sharper short games. At the Renaissance Club, TOUR players face a unique test that their DP World Tour counterparts are all too familiar with – randomness of the elements on slower, fescue-based greens.
Just outside of Edinburgh, the Renaissance Club sits exposed on the North Sea coastline. That makes it susceptible to significant swings in conditions from day to day, similar to what we’ve seen at the Open Championship. During calm weather, in-form players can easily score low here, as evidenced by a winning mark of -22 in 2019. When wind and rain become a factor, however, we’ve seen that mark slashed in half, as Rai showed the next year. Last year, this event was a grind with heavy winds, as Xander Schauffele won at just -7.
Predicting the weather’s influence this early in the week is a challenge. But, it’s crucial to monitor the severity of the conditions, particularly if they create a wave advantage over the first two days.
Be An Artist
After jumping out to a solo first round lead at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open with a 61, Cameron Tringale delivered what may be my favorite golf line of all time: “It’s fun to be an artist out here”.
Cameron “The Artist” Tringale proceeded to not be an artist for the rest of the tournament, failing to shoot under par the next three days and finishing T6 for the tournament.
If you’ve ever played golf with me since July 2022, you’ve probably heard me drop a, “it’s fun to be an artist out here” whenever I hit a chip shot in the general vicinity of the hole (which isn’t that often, but still). Tringale won’t be in the field this week, but his words should be a reminder that creative artistry can go rewarded on the open links of The Renaissance Club. You can find his Thursday flash interview from here.
How It Breaks Down
As a modern links course set in golf’s birthplace, The Renaissance Club differs from the usual PGA TOUR setup, but brings a refreshing change of pace. The course measures 7,237 yards (6,669 meters for you European purists) and plays to a par 70 with a unique mix of three par 5s, five par 3s, and ten par 4s.
Links-style courses are designed to play firmer in the fairways, tempting players to use the ground more often for increased rollout, especially when winds are up. That should give an advantage to players familiar with high winds and extreme weather who are generally comfortable flighting the ball to different trajectories depending on the conditions.
The rollouts have kept shorter hitters like Tom Kim, Aaron Rai, and Ian Poulter in contention over the last four years. But the presence of three reachable par 5s, a drivable par 4, and six additional par 4s over 450 yards should give an advantage to the longer hitters. At the 2021 Scottish Open, all three players in the playoff (Min Woo Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Thomas Detry) ranked top-30 in Driving Distance entering the week. In 2022, 11 of the top 15 finishers were above average in Driving Distance for the week.
The top 10 players in Driving Distance entering this week are: Rory McIlroy, Nicolas Colsaerts, Nicolai Hojgaard, Victor Norrman, Byeong Hun An, Adri Arnaus, Min Woo Lee, Ludvig Aberg, Adam Scott, and Cameron Champ.
Looking at the total hole distribution, which concentrates in the ranges of Par 3: 200+, Par 4: 450-500, and Par 5: 550-600, the top 10 players in overall course fit across all 18 hole ranges are: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton, Rickie Fowler, Nick Taylor, Justin Rose, Max Homa, and Matt Fitzpatrick.
For Renaissance Club course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past Scottish Open winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our Genesis Scottish Open odds page.Editor’s Note
COURSE HISTORY AND COURSE COMPS
We can best understand how this course will play by looking backwards. While the Scottish Open has drawn a smattering of the TOUR’s best to play at The Renaissance Club in 2019 and 2021 to prep for the Open Championship, DP World Tour players have comprised most of the fields. That makes for a great reference point for which “unknowns” from across the pond have found success. While leaderboards have been littered with the top DP World Tour names, OWGR would suggest that a field evenly split with TOUR players will produce more contenders from there.
In our first look at the event last year, only four DP World Tour players (Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Detry, Dean Burmester, Rasmus Hojgaard) finished inside the top 20. Still, the DP World Tour players do have the course history and familiarity with these conditions on their side, and will present intriguing value upside for both placement betting and DFS.
Thirteen players had delivered multiple top-40 finishes at this event over its first three years at The Renaissance Club: Min Woo Lee, Erik Van Rooyen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Victor Perez, Tyrrell Hatton, George Coetzee, Thomas Detry, Lucas Herbert, Matt Wallace, and Edoardo Molinari. Last year, Kurt Kitayama, Tom Kim, Brandon Wu, and Alex Smalley each impressed with top-10 finishes in their debuts.
Just 12 other players in the field recorded at least one top-10 finish in prior years at this event: Min Woo Lee, Ryan Palmer, Andrew Putnam, Erik Van Rooyen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Johannes Veerman, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Thomas Detry. Notables in the field with poor Course History include Russell Knox and Si Woo Kim. Each failed to make it through the cut in prior appearances.
Due to ignorance about DP World Tour course rotations and lack of data for modeling, I’ll draw course comps strictly from the PGA TOUR. It’s not ideal, but a cross-tour event on a links course without ShotLink data brings uncharted territory. Given the nuance, I’m placing significantly less weighting on Comp Course History in my model than I would in a standard week on the PGA TOUR.
The easiest place to start for comps with SG: TOT data at our disposal is the Open Championship. It’s played in this region each year in similar conditions and agronomy. It promotes flighting the ball through high winds, creativity from rolling undulations and fescue. It requires using the ground in firm conditions, putting on large and slow greens, and strategically thinking through each shot.
While weather has produced dramatically different results from a scoring standpoint, The Renaissance Club is not set up to impose the same test as a major. It should fall in line with some of the more docile Open Championship venues over recent years. Thus, Royal St. George’s and St. Andrews, host of the last two Open Championships, would seem the best place to start. Royal Birkdale, Royal Portrush, and Carnoustie are also worth a look as a reference point for players who thrive in these elements.
Outside of the Open Championship, it’s difficult to land on an exact match to these conditions on the PGA TOUR, but The Los Angeles Country Club comes the closest. Removing wind, both courses feature generous fairways with firm and fast landing areas, and nuanced fairway and greenside hazards that favor the longest hitters while still opening the door for plodders to contend. Xander Schauffele, Tom Kim, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Cam Smith, Matt Fitzpatrick, Wyndham Clark, Min Woo Lee, Jon Rahm, and Scottie Scheffler all finished top-20 at both the 2023 U.S. Open and the Genesis Scottish Open. That is a lot of correlation.
Chambers Bay, host of the 2015 U.S. Open, may come the next closest we’ve seen to a pure coastal links set up in the U.S. On the regular PGA TOUR schedule, Memorial Park GC shares influence of Doak’s design and offers a similar test of windy, firm, and fast conditions. It’s not a links-style course, however.
Trinity Forest served as the TOUR’s attempt at introducing links golf stateside. That proved a much easier layout, producing birdie-fests in its two years hosting the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2018 and 2019. Liberty National played easy in the 2021 NORTHERN TRUST due to high rainfall and soft conditions, but it shares a similar hole layout and links-style exposure to coastal winds.
Combine performance across this list and the top 10 players in Comp Course History here are: Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Patrick Cantlay.
KEY STATS TO CONSIDER WITH GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN ODDS
- SG: APP / SG: Ball Striking
- SG: OTT
- Driving Distance
- SG: ARG / SG: Short Game
- Birdies or Better Gained / Bogey Avoidance
- Par-4: 450-500
- Par-5 Scoring
- SG: Putting (Total) / SG: Putting (Slow Greens) / 3-Putt Avoidance
- Course & Comp Course History
The top of the leaderboards from the four prior years influence the key stats at this event. Since the stat modeling comes from PGA TOUR data, I will make note of DP World Tour players who profile well in the same areas even if they may fall outside the true top 10.
Kicking things off with SG: APP, this stat will continue to dictate the contenders this week. Extreme conditions will accentuate the importance of pure ball striking and creative flighting through the wind. Given the firm conditions and larger greens, lesser approach players can still make do, but they’ll play at a disadvantage. The top 10 players in SG: APP are: Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Alex Smalley, Corey Conners, Rory McIlroy, Mark Hubbard, and Aaron Rai.
From the DP World Tour, Alexander Bjork, Matthew Baldwin, Jordan Smith, Ross Fisher, and Eddie Pepperell round out the top five. For context, Bjork’s approach metrics fall between Shane Lowry and Mark Hubbard this 2023 season.
Whenever we enter a new course (at least by PGA TOUR standard), it’s always safest to look more broadly at the all-encompassing stats as a baseline for trending form. The top 10 players in SG: T2G over the last 24 rounds are: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Gary Woodland, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele, Byeong Hun An, and Corey Conners.
OTT And Hole Length Stats
The fairways at The Renaissance Club sit wide and generous. But in firm, fast links conditions with penal fescue and pot bunkers looming, players must position well off the tee. The top 10 players in SG: OTT are: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Keith Mitchell, Garrick Higgo, Gary Woodland, Kevin Yu, Corey Conners, and Tyrrell Hatton. The top five players from the DP World Tour: David Law, Adrian Meronk, Callum Shinkwin, Romain Langasque, and Tom McKibbin
With 50% of the holes this week funneling to the Par 4: 450-500 and Par 5: 550-600 range, players who score best in those two isolated groups should have a leg up. Eleven players rated out top 30 from both scoring ranges: Scottie Scheffler, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Wyndham Clark, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Corey Conners, Nick Taylor, and Sungjae Im.
Looking at recent form in terms of results over the last five events on the DP World Tour, the top 10 players entering this week are: Adrian Meronk, Alexander Bjork, Romaine Langasque, Jordan Smith, Callum Hill, Yannick Paul, Pablo Larrazabal, Maximillian Kiefer, and David Law.
In the absence of historical strokes gained data to pull correlations from, the ideal profile fit to score at The Renaissance Club should excel in SG: TOT (L24 rounds), Driving Distance, SG: OTT, SG: ARG, Course & Comp Course History, and Weighted Putting (L36, Slow Greens, 3-Putt Avoidance). Ten players rank above average in each category: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Max Homa, Adam Scott, Patrick Rodgers, and Sam Burns.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: MIN WOO LEE
As is a growing tradition for co-sanctioned events, I like to use the spotlight feature to shine some light on the DP World Tour members we don’t get to see as often stateside. With less depth on the DP World Tour this year than last, however, I’m shamelessly copping out here to make the case for Min Woo Lee, who earned joint membership across both tours.
Lee burst onto the world golf scene with his win at the Scottish Open in 2021, defeating Matt Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry in a dramatic playoff. As a past champion at The Renaissance Club, that may not scream “buy-low value.” But I don’t expect his price to be inflated as he looks to bounce back from a MC in 2022. In links golf, missed cuts are far more permissible, in my opinion, as an unlucky weather draw or bad bounce into a lateral hazards quickly derails a good round. With uncertain conditions and no ShotLink data, I’m drawn to the safety net of proven performance.
The Australian has been lights out in Europe, finishing top-15 in all five of his DP World Tour starts. That includes a T15 at last week’s British Masters. Looking stateside, I do feel strongly that LACC serves as a highly correlated course to The Renaissance Club with generous fairways, distance advantage, and need for creativity in both a player’s ball striking and short game. Lee impressed with a T5 showing at the U.S. Open, a great indicator for better results to come in Scotland.
He enters this week on a streak of three consecutive T15 finishes. But in a field loaded as this one, I still expect we’ll see palatable odds on Lee, who enters in far better form now than prior to his 2021 victory on these grounds.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT THE 2023 GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN
I’m really excited for this return to The Renaissance Club this week. It’s a refreshing week with a new British broadcast team and some time-shifted viewing for us East-coasters. The top of the board has a major — or at least WGC — feel to it even if the depth of the field tapers off quickly with so many middling DP World Tour players qualified. The Europeans should, in theory, have an advantage due to their familiarity with the terrain and conditions, but the PGA TOUR players carry a clear advantage from an overall skill standpoint. That makes for a compelling clash. In the end, I expect a top 20 player to win this week and carry momentum into the Open Championship.
With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early towards the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings.
2023 Genesis Scottish Open Model Breakdown
In my model, I’m emphasizing SG: T2G, Par-5 Scoring, SG: ARG, SG: OTT, SG: APP and Par 4: 450-500 followed by a more balanced mix of Comp Course History, Driving Distance and SG: P (TOT & Slow Greens).
In this star-studded field, Scottie Scheffler rates out No. 1 in my model this week. That’s hardly surprising any time the World No. 1 tees is up at this point, and his ability to win simply comes down to the putter. Scheffler finished top-10 at the Renaissance Club before, but in uncertain weather conditions, it’s easier to envision him not running away with this one.
After Scheffler, the rest of my model’s top 10 features Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Wyndham Clark, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, and Jordan Spieth.
It’s going to be a tricky week to project Scottish Open odds, with sportsbooks handicapping the field across multiple tours. I expect a ton of variance on Scottish Open odds across the marketplace. Check back here Monday when odds release so you can line shop for best prices. For now, I’m leaning toward Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, and Min Woo Lee. But this will likely be a week to chase value and go after the players whose odds slip the longest. Check back in later this week for more updates, and best of luck navigating the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open odds!
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