The 2012 Scottish Open at Castle Stuart near Inverness is the last European Tour event before The Open itself and serves as an ideal links warm-up for the Royal Lytham test.
Many of the world’s top golfers are teeing it up in the 2012 Scottish Open, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, with a couple of well-known Americans gaining some valuable links practice before the year’s third Major.
Luke Donald won the Scottish Open last year by an impressive four shots after it was reduced to 54 holes because of bad weather and the world No 1 is the favourite to make it back-to-back wins.
Here are the top 5 bets for the 2012 Scottish Open:
1) Paul Lawrie each-way outright @ 30/1 with BetVictor
Lawrie is an excellent links player who is enjoying a terrific year having won the Qatar Masters and had two other top-three finishes. The local boy is determined to make the European Ryder Cup team and another high finish in Inverness will take him closer to that goal.
2) Mark Foster each-way first round leader @ 66/1 with Ladbrokes
Foster has been starting tournaments strongly recently before finding things tougher later on, and his first-round score has been his lowest in his last four events. The Worksop professional is in decent form and could go low on Thursday.
The Londoner is something of an under-achiever on the European Tour having only ever won once, but when his game is there he can be a formidable competitor. Runner-up in the Irish Open, he has been inside the top 20 in two of his last four events which shows he is in decent nick just now.
4) Phil Mickelson top American @ 11/10 with SportingBet
Only four Americans have bothered to travel to Inverness and it’s hard to see Kevin Na, John Rollins or Rich Beem making much of an impact. Mickelson has been out of sorts recently, but his Open performance last year proved he can play links golf and he can account for his compatriots.
5) Marcus Fraser top Australian @ 11/4 with Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes look to have got this market wrong and there is no way Aaron Baddeley should be as short as 6/5. Fraser has been playing some great golf on the European Tour this year, reaching two play-offs, and 11/4 is a belting price with the other four Aussies at bigger odds out of form at present.