The premier golf tournament this week is The Scottish Open where this year it will take place at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. The Golf Channel is recognizing that fact since it’s featuring the Scottish Open in their fantasy game. We have a lot to cover so let’s just get right to it.
Phil Mickelson will be defending his Scottish Open title from last year. With Mickelson’s win at the Scottish Open and then followed that up with a British Open title, Mickelson really inspired a lot of golfers. The 2014 Scottish Open is one of the strongest fields it has ever produced. With that said, I won’t be taking Mickelson. Mickelson is just too wild for my taste.
I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Mickelson win and at the same time I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss the cut. Same could be said for Rory McIlroy. McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship this year and then a couple of months later he missed the cut at the Irish Open.
McIlroy is in much better form than Mickelson though. With McIlroy I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win, but on the flip side I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him miss the cut.
Either way, with all that said, I’m not taking either one of them. I feel there are better choices.
Jimmy Walker is too much of a risk as well. Walker has virtually no experience playing over in Europe, in fact, he’s only played in one British Open which was last year and he missed the cut.
Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, and Victor Dubuisson are the four I’ve narrowed it down to. All four are playing some really good golf. Rose just won recently at the Quicken Loans National, Donald finished T-3 at the BMW PGA Championship, Poulter is coming off a T-6 at St. Jude and T-17 at the U.S. Open, and Dubuisson makes his living on the European Tour.
I will say this, I want to take Dubuisson, but I don’t want him to do too well here at the Scottish Open. If The Open were to start this Thursday, Dubuisson would be a major, major value pick. A lot like how he was at the U.S. Open and I want it to stay like that.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, I will be taking Dubuisson, but I’m basically hoping he doesn’t win or create any headlines. If he just hangs around in the top 30 for all four rounds, that’s good enough for me. That would be a solid scoring week and he would be under-the-radar for next week at The Open.
As usual, Group 2 is absolutely loaded. You can go with Rickie Fowler who has been playing very well this season and has had been very successful playing in Europe whether it be at the British Open or at the Ryder Cup. Miguel Angel Jimenez is always a great pick up. Someone you can easily root for and has been absolutely terrific this season.
Lee Westwood has struggled badly on the PGA Tour this season, but we’ll see if maybe he can turn his season around starting this week at the Scottish Open and maybe make one more run at winning the British Open next week.
After winning his first tournament of the year – the Volvo Golf Champions – Louis Oosthuizen hasn’t quite had the season he was hoping for. He’s been wildly inconsistent all year on the PGA Tour and has been plagued with some nagging back problems. On the bright side, he has a least made the cut at the Masters and the U.S. Open.
Brooks Koepka, the American that plays on the European Tour, has had an up and down year so far, but his big bright spot was a T-4 at the U.S. Open. Also, keep in mind, last year at the Scottish Open Koepka finished T-12.
Now, for the golfers I’m really strongly considering. First up, Jamie Donaldson. He has had a very strong season. Donaldson hasn’t missed a cut on the European Tour and he has had some good results in the States including a T-2 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and a T-14 at the Masters. Keep Donaldson in mind for next week. He may just be a sleeper pick to watch out for.
Joost Luiten is also someone to keep an eye on. Luiten’s worst finish on the European Tour this season has been a T-23. At the Masters he finished T-26, and at the U.S. Open he missed the cut. But, the golfer I’m taking in Group 2 is Francesco Molinari.
Molinari has missed a cut this season (Nordea Masters), but aside from that he’s been fantastic. He’s made the cut at both majors this season, including a T-12 at the U.S. Open, but also a T-7 at the BMW PGA Championship, and a T-12 at the BMW International Open. Really those three, Donaldson, Luiten, and Molinari are three to keep an eye on this week and next week. They maybe sleeper picks for the British Open.
Also, other notables in Group 2: Ernie Els, Thomas Bjorn, Mikko Ilonen, Stephen Gallacher, and last year’s runner-up Branden Grace.
Alvaro Quiros last year finished T-24 at the Scottish Open, but he’s not coming into it in the best of form. He has missed the cut in his last two tournaments.
Kiradech Apibarnrat is a talented golfer from Thailand, but he has struggled this year. Apibarnrat missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship and his best finish has been a T-24 at the Volvo Golf Champions.
Last year, Nicolas Colsaerts finished T-8 at the Scottish Open, but he just hasn’t found any success this year. He’s been missing cuts on both the PGA Tour and European Tour. He’s talented, he can bomb it a long way, but he’s still a project, needs some work, and is a high risk pick.
David Lynn had a solid start this season on the PGA Tour making the cut in his first five starts, but he has missed the cut in his last four PGA Tour starts. He has played his last three starts on the European Tour, but he still hasn’t found his swing just yet.
In his last three starts he missed the BMW PGA Championship and at the BMW International Open, but in his last event he made the cut at the Alstom Open de France and finished T-45. So, maybe, he’s finding his swing back just in time, but nevertheless, I’m not taking Lynn.
Now, we get into the two golfers I’m considering for Group 3. Edoardo Molinari isn’t as good as his brother Francesco, but Edoardo is still pretty darn good himself. Molinari has missed only four cuts this year and has finished in the top 25, five times this season including a solo 2nd place finish at the Irish Open. I believe, Molinari is a good pick, but that’s not who I’m taking.
Marcel Siem is who I’m taking. Siem is having a good, consistent year. He’s making the cut week in and week out and in the big tournaments he’s stepped up his game. At the BMW PGA Championship, Siem finished T-7 and at the U.S. Open, Siem finished T-12. And just for good measure, Siem finished T-10 at last year’s Scottish Open.
There’s a handful of golfers I’m considering. One is Matthew Nixon who has made the cut in his last four tournaments and has had good finishes. A T-48 at the Lyoness Open, T-14 at the Irish Open, a T-28 at the BMW International Open, and T-12 at the Alstom Open de France.
Tyrell Hatton has been hit or miss this season, but he does feature a T-38 at the BMW PGA Championship. Simon Khan finished T-17 last year at the Scottish Open, but he has missed the cut in five of his last six tournaments. John Parry finished T-5 last year, but in his last six tournaments he has missed the cut.
Magnus Carlsson has been boom or bust in his last six tournaments missing the cut in three tournaments, but in the three other events he has finished T-49 (Open de Espana), T-6 (Irish Open), and T-12 (Alstom Open de France).
With all that said, I’m going with Gary Stal for the 2014 Scottish Open Group 4 pick. Stal has made the cut in his last five tournaments including a T-8 at the Irish Open, and a T-38 at the BMW PGA Championship.