UG Tips: Scottish Open at Gullane

Links season is now in full flow! After a glorious week at Ballyliffin when scoring was as low as predicted, the latest of the Rolex Series events takes place at the glorious Gullane. Conditions look set to provide an even faster and more fiery test than last week which should help to hone the top players games in time for next weeks Open Championship.

Last time Gullane hosted this tournament accuracy off the tee wasn’t overly important, and nor should it be this week. The tournament will be won and lost on and around the greens with creativity being an essential attribute for success.

Since the Scottish Open settled on links courses, 7 of the 8 winners have played the week before and it will be especially beneficial given the difference in conditions this year. Those who became acclimatised last week will certainly have a foot up on those who didn’t.

And how close we came from another belting Irish Open pick last week. Having backed Ryan Fox at 80/1 we were gutted to see him lose out in the playoff to Russell Knox. Mathieu Pavon also did us proud, though just missed out on the places by a shot – that would have been another delicious return at 250/1!

Given the week of preparation, there are a couple of familiar faces in this week’s selection!

Andy Sullivan 25/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £332.50

This summer has seen Andy Sullivan return to the form that saw he secure a Ryder Cup berth and numerous titles. His swagger has returned and is reflected in these shorter odds. He’s been on the verge of contention these past couple of weeks and makes no secret of his love of Gullane. It will be no surprise to see him up to his back wheels in it this weekend.

Ian Poulter 28/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £370

So long as he hasn’t exhausted himself cheering on England this week he should relish conditions. He’s not a natural links player, but when it’s running fast he has no problem with his relative lack of distance off the tee and has the necessary short game tools to play all the shots that will lead to good scoring. A couple of top 5’s in The Open point to a man who has the game to win on the links.

Chris Wood 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £520

We backed him last week and though he didn’t place he was right up there. All the pointers that we identified for Ireland apply this week. He loves links golf and on current form is a no-brainer.

Ryan Fox 50/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £645

Another of our picks from last week and the man who gave us a healthy return – though it was nearly so much better. Aside from losing the playoff to Russell Knox, the Kiwi had the perfect week. With Knox having followed up a fine week in France with a win in Ireland, there is no reason that our Ryan can’t do the same!

Mikko Ilonen 90/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £572.50

To be honest, we’d nearly forgotten about our fourth favourite Finn until he popped up last week! Another thing is that we don’t need too many excuses to pick this guy. Once we looked into his recent form, it was evident that his game has taken an upturn. He’s always been our Hoylake sleeper given his links pedigree and this week he’s getting a run out for us. Hopefully he’ll win and use it as an excuse to show off his “I love links golf” tattoo on his left butt-cheek.

Matthieu Pavon 150/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £947.50

Here’s the third of our triumvirate from last week. He was at longer odds last week and nearly came in – this has only enhanced our belief in him. The course should be a touch more firm this week and that will play into his hands as he is now at one with the style and confidence is overflowing!

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