DP World Tour

Steve Palmer's free Scottish Open predictions & golf betting tips - can he follow up last week's 25-1 winner?

Golf tips, best bets and predictions for the Scottish Open, a co-sanctioned PGA Tour and DP World Tour event.

When to bet on the Scottish Open

By 7.15am on Thursday

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Where can I watch the Scottish Open

Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 8.30am on Thursday

Steve Palmer's Scottish Open predictions

Ryan Fox
1.5pts each-way 80-1 bet365

Tom McKibbin
1.5pts each-way 80-1 bet365

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Steve Palmer's Scottish Open preview

Rory McIlroy has not been sighted on a golf course since squandering a golden chance of ending his Major-winning drought at the US Open almost a month ago. The 35-year-old was a broken man after some late putting anguish at Pinehurst meant a one-shot defeat to Bryson DeChambeau.

McIlroy was so dejected after the US Open that he left immediately, refusing to talk to the media, before spending some time getting away from golf. It is doubtful whether he can get straight back into a competitive mindset at the Renaissance Club this week to successfully defend his Scottish Open title and justify favouritism.

Xander Schauffele is on offer at slightly bigger odds and is by far the most appealing of the market principals. The US PGA champion should be in a much better place mentally than McIlroy, having made his Major breakthrough in May, and his game has never been in better all-round shape. The American raider won at the Renaissance two years ago.

Collin Morikawa, Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland are also in attendance for a high-class Open Championship warm-up. Schauffele would be the recommendation for punters looking to get one of the Scottish Open elite on their team, but preference is for two big-price runners who should be focused on this week and not letting their mind wander forward to Royal Troon. 

Steve Palmer's top tip

Ryan Fox 80-1

Kiwi slugger Ryan Fox relishes links terrain and the four-time DP World Tour champion looks a lively outsider for the Scottish Open.

Fox has often been a factor when the circuit has moved to links terrain. He was fourth in the 2017 Irish Open at Portstewart and runner-up in the 2018 Irish Open at Ballyliffin, before winning the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews in 2022.

Fox has a decent Scottish Open record and last year's 12th place at the Renaissance Club shows he can handle this particular track. The pre-tournament rain this week makes the Renaissance set up in even more appealing fashion for the effortlessly powerful Auckland man.

The sociable 37-year-old has admitted he is thrilled to be back competing in Europe, having struggled to adjust to the life on the PGA Tour, where players tend to keep themselves to themselves. A happier Fox carded four solid rounds for 17th place in the BMW International Open last week and can build on that effort in Scotland.

Fox won the BMW PGA Championship last year and another Rolex Series success looks well within his compass this week. 

Next best bet

Tom McKibbin 80-1

Links natural Tom McKibbin, like Fox, is on offer at a juicy each-way price. 

McKibbin grew up competing on links courses in Ireland and finished 35th on his Scottish Open debut last season. The 21-year-old is a much more polished player 12 months after his first taste of the Renaissance Club and a second DP World Tour title seems close.

He looked the likely winner of the Italian Open last time out – it appeared his clubhouse lead was going to get the job done – but Marcel Siem birdied the 72nd hole and the first extra hole of a playoff to defeat the Northern Irishman.

The near-miss in Italy provided further proof of McKibbin's great talent. He has posted six top-ten finishes this year and played badly only once this year – when he teed up with tonsillitis in Singapore. Consistently impressive, expect this rising star to feature on the Scottish Open leaderboard on Sunday.

Course guide for the Scottish Open

  • Course The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
  • Prize money $9m ($1.5m to the winner)
  • Length 7,237 yards
  • Par 70 – three par-fives; ten par-fours; five par-threes
  • Field 156 The cut Top 65 and ties qualify for round three
  • Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Rory McIlroy (2), Xander Schauffele (3), Ludvig Aberg (4), Wyndham Clark (5), Collin Morikawa (6)
  • Course records - 72 holes 262 Bernd Wiesberger (2019) 18 holes 61 Bernd Wiesberger (2019), Cameron Tringale (2022), Byeong Hun An (2023)
  • Course winners taking part Bernd Wiesberger, Aaron Rai, Min Woo Lee, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy
  • When to bet By 7.15am on Thursday
  • When to watch Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 8.30am on Thursday
  • Last week – BMW International Open 1 E Ferguson (45-1), T2 J Smith (33-1), D Micheluzzi (200-1), T4 C Syme (60-1), M Southgate (175-1), T6 M Besard (500-1), J Dantorp (350-1), R Hoshino (45-1)
  • Course type Links
  • Course overview The Renaissance Club, which opened in 2008, was designed by Tom Doak. It made its Scottish Open debut in 2019, hosting every year since. Three holes run directly along the Firth of Forth, but this is not a pure links test, with some trees in strategic fairway and greenside positions. Heavily contoured greens are the main defence of the course
  • Story of last year Rory McIlroy edged Robert MacIntyre by a shot in a thrilling, high-quality finish
  • Weather forecast Pre-tournament rain has softened the course. Expect cloudy, cool, relatively calm conditions for all four days
  • Type of player suited to the challenge A strong short-game is a great asset on and around tricky greens. Powerful players should relish the soft conditions
  • Key attribute Touch/putting

Steve Palmer's Scottish Open key stat

Only one of the last 13 Scottish Open winners was a DP World Tour maiden.

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Steve Palmer is now on Members' Club
Steve Palmer is now on Members' Club

For those looking for even more extensive golf coverage don't miss Palmer's extra pointers every Wednesday in the Racing Post newspaper. 

As well as his tips and insight you will also get expert spotlight comments for all players in our extensive PGA Tour and DP Tour price comparison grids which include course and recent form, plus Palmer's unique attribute icons to help identify the type of players likely to be suited to conditions each week.   

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