With the small matter of an Open Championship on the horizon, the worlds best have turned their attention to the home country of golf and more specifically, The Scottish Open at Renaissance Club. Possibly the strongest field I can remember, this years renewal looks to be one of the most exciting yet and there are so many players who will go in to this with a fantastic chance of coming out on top come Sunday. Links golf is the best test of a golfers ability and it will be interesting to see who will be able to cope with the conditions and who will struggle to shine on the testing Renaissance course. I have picked out my ones to watch for the week and I do believe this could be one of the best tournaments of the year.
The reigning champion has an excellent record playing links courses and is a man who seems to be playing himself back in to the form you would expect of a world number 6. Winning this tournament last year with a score of -7 after a final round of even par, he has shown that he can handle the pressure in tough conditions.
The only concern I have for him is that there have not been many winners of more than one Scottish Open, he would have to be the first man to do this since Ernie Els in 2003 if he was to conquer the field this week, however, if I had to put my hand in my pocket and put money on a player to win in the upcoming fortnight, Schauffele would be my man and I think it is more likely he does it this week, rather than next.
As people may know, or be able to tell from my bio, I am a huge fan of Jordan Spieth. The supremely talented Texan has had an injury worry in the last couple of weeks but I do believe he is a player who cherishes links golf after his Open Championship victory at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
Spieth also that day expressed his love for links golf and the tests it can bring to a player and he is a player who is never out of contention, no matter where the ball can be, whether that is in the middle of the fairway or up a 20 foot tree, Spieth will always try to find a way out and he usually does. Spieth I do believe would like a couple of big performances in the coming weeks to make sure he is a lock for team USA at this September’s Ryder Cup.
Coming off his best finish so far on the PGA Tour, wouldn’t it be brilliant to see the talented Swede make a real impression on the European scene with a big performance this week? Aberg just looks to have it all in his game and has burst on to the scene in such a huge way that people both sides of the Atlantic have sat up and took notice.
Will the youngster be able to handle the galleries of this week is my concern, as I think there will be plenty of European fans wanting to take a look at what seems to be the new big player on the block when it comes to European golf. Having made the last 6 cuts on the PGA Tour, he is a man bang in form and I think a win will come in due course, will it be this week we will have to see, but I do think it would be great timing for Aberg to put his name at the forefront of golf’s rising stars.
Another past winner of this event and another player having a very strong year on tour. Rose has all the experience you would want from a player and when he gets in to his groove, he is still a very fine golfer even if he is over the age of 40. After a very solid top 5 at the British Masters at the Belfry a fortnight ago, Rose will try to build on that and go a few better this weekend, granted this will be a stronger field but it is fields that he is not shy of playing against.
When you are a major champion and have played in as many tournaments as this man has, you know how to prepare for a big week and I do believe Rose will use this to his advantage having been back in the UK for a few weeks and having acclimatised to his surroundings maybe a little better than some will have, only coming over from the Atlantic in the last couple of days.
A winner of both the Irish Open and the Open Championship, could Shane Lowry add the Scottish open to his resumé this weekend in East Lothian? I believe he can due to the quality he possesses. A passionate player but a very popular one within the European circuit, Lowry will have plenty of supporters this weekend trying to egg him on to victory.
After his win in the 2019 Open Championship, Lowry has gone a little quiet on the winning front, with his only win since then coming in the 2022 BMW Championship at Wentworth, where he beat the strong duo of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy by a stroke. I think Lowry will be in the mixer come Sunday and you would not count out the Irishman of a victory which would come as a massive confidence booster going in to the final major of the season.