We've got just one event left on the PGA Tour calendar before the year's final major.
This week, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour) are running a co-sanctioned event: the Genesis Scottish Open.
This is the second straight year that the event will be co-sanctioned and held at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick. The course had hosted the DP World Tour for the Scottish Open three years prior to the initially co-sanctioned event, meaning we have one year of PGA Tour data on the course and four in total to some capacity.
How does all of this impact the process this week? Let's dig in.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Renaissance Club Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,237 (around average for a par 70)
Fairway Width: 31.4 yards (34th of 85 courses)
Average Green Size: N/A
Green Type: N/A
Recent Winning Scores: -7, -18, -11, -22
Recent Cut Lines: +3, -3, -1, -5
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Putting, Strokes Gained: Around the Green, Birdie or Better Rate, Total Strokes Gained, Driving Distance
In case you skipped the intro: we have one year of PGA Tour data on the Renaissance Club and three more from strictly European Tour (i.e. DP World Tour) data on this course.
One thing is for sure: driving accuracy doesn't matter much. There was virtually no penalty for missing the fairway last year. But you definitely want to be in position to gain strokes with the irons. Among 38 courses with ShotLink data last year, this was the fourth-toughest place to gain strokes from approach play -- in part because the greens were tough to hit (seventh-lowest green in regulation percentage).
This place also rated out as the toughest course to putt from within five feet and was largely a relentless test with the flat stick. Of the nine players to finish T6 or better last year, each gained at least 0.60 strokes per round with the putter.
Basically, if you have good irons and good putting, you're playing the course well.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
These golfers have the best strokes gained averages (minimum two starts) in recent years at this course.
|Rafa Cabrera Bello||$7,400||1.50||36||-||-||9|
|Erik van Rooyen||$7,300||1.35||MC||-||6||14|
Win Simulations for the Genesis Scottish Open
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Genesis Scottish Open
The model is showing value on Scottie Scheffler at +700, and I won't argue it. Scheffler is the best ball-striker in the field, leading both in strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: approach over his past 50 rounds. He missed the cut here last year but was T12 in 2021. He has six straight top-five finishes and hasn't finished worse than T12 in the 2023 calendar year.
Wyndham Clark (+4500) is a value again this week. He would need to pick up a third win in six starts to do so, yet he has the overall game to do it: distance, irons, and an impeccable short game.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Genesis Scottish Open
All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Scottie Scheffler (FanDuel Salary: $12,400 | Golf betting odds: +700) - The model loves Scheffler this week, and so do I (again). It's just hard not to. Scheffler ranks first in the field in both strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: off the tee. He's second around the green. Whew. As for the putting, that's clearly the issue: 110th. He's a 24th-percentile putter from within 15 feet, so the luck is poorer than it even should be. He finished T12 in 2021 at this course but missed the cut last year.
Tyrrell Hatton ($11,300 | +2000) - I considered Tommy Fleetwood ($10,900) here because I want to save salary when I can, but Hatton's win probability is much higher, and the salary is only $400 more. Hatton ranks eighth in strokes gained: tee to green and is 15th in putting in the field over the past 50 rounds. Plus, he owns three top-25 finishes at Renaissance Club. He's a standout play.
Others to Consider:
Xander Schauffele ($11,800 | +1400) - Last year's winner; 2nd-best irons and best approach through putting stats.
Tommy Fleetwood ($10,900 | +2100) - Top-26 in all three T2G; 34th in putting; T4, solo 2nd, and T26 at Renaissance.
Wyndham Clark ($10,100 | +4500) - Dominant T2G game (11th) and 12th in putting; 16th last year here.
Lucas Herbert ($9,200 | +6500) - A tier drop definitely exists when we hit the $9,000 range, and that makes it easier to go top-and-bottom heavy, but that's not to say that the mid-range is all bad. Especially at the bottom (relative to salary). Herbert has finished T62, T4, T4, and cut at Renaissance Club in his career, giving him some of the best total form across the DP World Tour and PGA Tour's events here. The stats model is just tepid on him -- so it's more of a course-fit play than usual.
Sahith Theegala ($9,300 | +8500) - The win model likes Theegala a good bit. He's doing a lot with the putter lately, yes, but his struggles are pretty viable for this course. He's 116th in the field in fairways gained, and that doesn't matter much this week. He's top-35 in approach, around-the-green, and putting, ultimately ranking him 15th in those three combined. He hasn't played here before, which is a hangup, but that's about it.
Others to Consider:
Corey Conners ($9,800 | +5500) - Ball-striking (6th) should lead to success at this course, though he has a missed cut and a T61 to his name.
Sam Burns ($9,800 | +5000) - Best win odds (per my model) in the salary tier.
Ryan Fox ($9,400 | +7500) - Balanced profile; played here all four years with two made cuts (past two).
Cameron Davis ($9,000 | +12000) - Davis is a weak putter (131st in the field) but has 42nd-percentile putting splits from within 15 feet this season -- but 11th-percentile splits on longer putts. That suggests some regression coming his way. For a salary of $9,000, Davis offers us top-20 distance and above-field-average irons and wedges.
Padraig Harrington ($8,400 | +19000) - Harrington is tearing up the Champions Tour, and he was T27 at the U.S. Open and T50 at the PGA Championship. He also finished T10 at the Valero Texas Open. Whew. He owns four starts across four years at Renaissance Club, finishing T9 in 2020 and T18 in 2021 with missed cuts in 2019 and 2022 -- but that's a lot of course knowledge.
Others to Consider:
Thomas Detry ($8,700 | +13000) - Four made cuts and two top-10s here; average stats profile works at this salary.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($8,600 | +16000) - Four starts here (three made cuts); 23rd in SG: approach through putting.
Nick Taylor ($8,300 | +19000) - 19th-best irons plus short game in the field; 55th here last year.