The co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open is set for this week at The Renaissance Club, which has hosted the Scottish Open three years running, and that makes it our primary focus for the week leading into The Open Championship next week.
While it hasn't been a full-on PGA Tour event in past years, we can still leverage strokes gained data to help figure out key stats needed for this week.
Let's dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Course Information and Key Stats
Golfers With Great Course History
Daily Fantasy Picks
The Renaissance Club Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,237 (average: ~10 yards longer than the average par 70)
Fairway Acres/Yard: N/A
Average Green Size: N/A
Green Type: N/A
Past 5 Winning Scores (Event): -18, -11, -22
Past 5 Cut Lines (Event): -3, -1, -5
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Strokes Gained: Putting, Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes gained: approach at the Renaissance Club usually has a bit of a stronger correlation with in-tournament overall strokes gained (0.66) than usual on the PGA Tour (0.62), and the fact that it's as high as it is makes sure it never leaves the top spot in the key stats list.
The Renaissance Club isn't notably long for being a par 70, but driving distance has correlated a bit stronger with strokes gained at this course than your typical PGA Tour event. That said, it's not enough to value over general strokes gained: off the tee. Similar to approach numbers, off-the-tee play has correlated a bit stronger here (0.53) than usual (0.47).
The stat that falls off most is around-the-green play, which hasn't mattered a ton at this setup.
Plenty of golfers get to double-digits under par back before this was even a co-sanctioned event. With 14 of the top 15 in the world golf rankings teeing it up this week, we'll need to prioritize birdie-makers this week. So: ball-strikers who aren't awful with the putter is the checklist.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
The best golfers at The Renaissance Club over the past three years (among those with at least two starts) include Tommy Fleetwood (+2.05), Min Woo Lee (+2.05; last year's winner), Erik Van Rooyen (+2.01), Matt Fitzpatrick (+1.81), Benjamin Hebert (+1.76), Lucas Herbert (+1.73), Tyrrell Hatton (+1.63), Thomas Detry (+1.56), Aaron Rai (+1.38; 2020's winner), Matt Wallace (+1.31), Robert Macintyre (+1.18), and Padraig Harrington (+1.18).
Ryan Palmer, Jon Rahm, Johannes Veerman, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, and Sam Burns were all top-20 here last year, too.
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 this week at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Genesis Scottish Open
In terms of betting value, the model is showing it on a few guys at the top because it's not viewing Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, and Justin Thomas as betting values inside 12/1.
Instead, the model likes Patrick Cantlay (+2400), Cameron Smith (+2800), Sam Burns (+2700), and Hideki Matsuyama (+3400). It's rare to see value on that many guys at the top -- however slight -- but that can happen whenever the model views a handful of favorites as very overvalued.
Cameron Young (+6000) has an upside-friendly game and rates out well given his volatility.
Top-10 values include Smith (+400), Matsuyama (+460), Max Homa (+850), Billy Horschel (+850), Harold Varner (+900), and Joaquin Niemann (+600).
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Genesis Scottish Open
All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. 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
Justin Thomas (FanDuel Salary: $11,800 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1200) - There isn't anything that JT does poorly. You might think it's putting, but he's really stepped up his game there. He's an 84th-percentile adjusted putter in my database. Thomas finished top-20 here last year and has a lot going for him, particularly with the recent iron play.
Sam Burns($10,900 | +3100) - Sam Burns is setting up to be an easy pick in these loaded fields. He's going to be in the B-Tier in terms of salary for a while still, but he can be just as good as anyone on a given week. The super recent form (+2.35) has him ranked second in the field behind only Xander Schauffele (+2.46). Burns' ball-striking has him in the 87th percentile against this loaded field -- and he's in the 94th percentile in combined short game.
Others to Consider:
Xander Schauffele ($11,700 | +1800) - His game is flawless; top-20 here last year, as well.
Viktor Hovland ($10,700 | +3400) - Recent form is awful, but the course should benefit ball-strikers this week.
Joaquin Niemann ($10,300 | +4000) - Great recent form is marred by weak putting; four straight top-25s before the putter went cold.
Max Homa ($10,000 | +5000) - At the top of the mid-range stands Homa, who has 91st-percentile ball-striking and great distance off the tee. The underlying putting data is stellar, and he hasn't lost strokes from approach since November of 2021.
Mito Pereira ($9,600 | +6500) - There's a lot of upside in Pereira's profile, as he is in the 91st percentile in both ball-striking stats while holding 72nd-percentile wedges. The long-term putting is good, and it's supported by the underlying data, as well. The two straight missed cuts aren't too worrying. After all, he had bounced back from the PGA Championship collapse with two straight top-15s anyway.
Others to Consider:
Corey Conners ($9,900 | +5500) - Ball-striking seems to matter here a lot, and that's great news (96th percentile).
Brian Harman ($9,500 | +6500) - Not a long course, so Harman can be a factor; great birdie-maker.
Keith Mitchell ($9,400 | +6500) - The super recent form is great for Mitchell; carried by the putter but still a strong play.
Maverick McNealy ($8,900 | +10000) - I've been targeting McNealy for a while now, and I'm going to stick with it. He finished T8 at the John Deere Classic last week despite losing strokes from approach play. His approach numbers are still positive (66th percentile) over the past year, and he's a plus-distance driver. McNealy is putting a bit too hot but still stands to be a positive putter long term.
Matthew NeSmith ($8,200 | +16000) - If aiming to save salary for the studs, we have a few options. NeSmith stands out among them as someone with elite ball-striking (81st percentile) and elite expected putting (79th percentile). He's gained strokes from approach in four straight events and most recently finished T19 at the Travelers with hot irons but a bad putter. Getting hot with irons and having an underperforming putter is a great value recipe.
Others to Consider:
Si Woo Kim ($8,700 | +12000) - Good mix of long-term and recent form; under-salaried due to two straight missed cuts.
Tom Hoge ($8,600 | +12000) - A firm play if we downplay wedges; great putting from 5 to 10 feet.
Luke List ($8,400 | +14000) - 95th-percentile ball-striker but perhaps -- no lie -- the worst putting splits I could imagine.