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Genesis Scottish Open 2024: Course Preview & Rithmm Best Bets

July 10, 2024

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We've gotten through all of that pesky American-based golf, and now it's time to get to the truly fun part of the schedule: the Scotland trip. For the next two weeks, the PGA Tour's best and brightest (except for Scottie Scheffler this week) will be playing plenty of links golf, starting with the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open, which is held at the Renaissance Club and where our course preview will focus this week.

Last year's Scottish Open was a thrill ride all the way up to the 72nd hole, where Rory McIlroy triumphed over Scotland's own Robert MacIntyre by hitting his approach shot directly into the wind, landing it ten feet from the hole and making the birdie putt after MacIntyre posted an incredible final round to get there.

This year, McIlroy is back to defend his title, but he won't have to contend against the best player in the world, who will skip this event so he can focus fully on next week's Open Championship.

Let's dive into my 2024 Genesis Scottish Open course preview and of course, the best bets according to my Rithmm model that we'll be following this week.

2024 Genesis Scottish Open Course Preview

Welcome back to the Renaissance Club, a links golf staple located on the North Sea coastline near Edinburgh, Scotland. The Renaissance Club has played host to the Genesis Scottish Open since the tournament's inception in 2019, but the course itself has only been around since 208.

Typical to most links golf courses located in the U.K., you get a very open gof course with th Renaissance Club. Its main defenses are the rapidly changing weather conditions that players can see due to its proximity to the North Sea as well as the winds, but don't forget about the incredibly slow fescue greens that PGA Tour players don't usually see stateside.

This is a Tom Doak design, and a great example of him using a minimalistic design view, which basically means that he lets the natural land of the course dictate the holes. The greens are a true Doak design in that they feature plenty of break around locations to make players earn birdies.

Off of the tee, there are not many hazards or penalties to deal with if you miss the fairway, despite the fairways being ranked as the 16th-narrowest on the Tour. Players who hit the ball further off the tee have historically done better (see McIlroy, Rory), so that should also be a consideration this week.

Rithmm Models used for 2024 Genesis Scottish Open Course Preview

In every Course Preview, we’ll be diving into Rithmm’s proprietary model to help you build the best betting model for that week’s course! Rithmm has its own AI model that it generates based on thousands of sims, but you also might want to build your own model, so that’s what this section is for.

When we get into Rithmm’s modeling aspect, it has five customizable sliders that you can mess around with: Recent Performance, Par 5 Performance, Par 4 Performance, Par 3 Performance, and Course Fit. You can adjust these to your heart’s content, and make it reflect the way you see the important stats.

My model for the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open is below:

This week's model is very balanced, outside of Par 3 scoring, which I am not valuing terribly highly this week. While this unique course layout contains five Par 3s, they have not played as difficult in recent years and the focus is mainly on the Par 4s and 5s this week.

Above all else, course fit is important. This is a different style of track than many of the players will be used to, specifically on the PGA Tour side. Links-style courses in Scotland are much different than similar styles in the United States, and this track is no different.

Some things that bettors should be looking at from a course fit standpoint are strong iron play, especially in heavy winds. Wind has played a major factor in last few Scottish Opens, so if you're good at flighting down your irons, something that McIlroy and MacIntyre did plenty of 2023, you should see success here.

From a hole standpoint, 50% of the holes this week funnel to Par 4s in the 450-500 and Par 5s in the 550-600 yard range, so look for players excelling on longer holes.

Lastly, recent form is always important. It may play a slightly lesser importance this week with this course being much different than players are used to, but it will always be a good plus for a player that you are betting on.

Best Betting Picks for Genesis Scottish Open 2024

It’s time to build our Rithmm betting card for this week. We’re going to go into each of Rithmm’s favorite picks for Top 20/10/5 based on my model, and whether I agree or disagree with it.

Top 20: Hideki Matsuyama +150 (48.8% Rithmm Win Probability)

Looking at what plays well at Renaissance Club, Matsuyama's game brings up plenty of things that you look for. Although he's not going to give you a ton of oomph off the tee, he's incredibly capable of pinpoint accuracy with his irons and has one of the best short games on the PGA Tour.

Despite only playing this event once before and missing the cut, I like Hideki at this pricepoint this week. He'll be well-rested since we haven't seen him since the Travelers Championship, and his stats line up well, as he's gained strokes putting in five straight events.

Top 10: Denny McCarthy +700 (17.4%)

Another great putter, McCarthy has had some close calls lately. With five straight finishes of top 40 or better, McCarthy enters this week in great form, fresh off of a T7 at the John Deere Classic.

McCarthy has never played the Scottish Open before, so there is some question as to how he will acclimate to the weather in Edinburgh. Despite getting a solid price for this play, this is ultimately a pass for me and I'll be taking Xander Schauffele to finish in the top ten at +110 instead.

Top 5: Collin Morikawa +360 (26%)

Morikawa is an easy pick at first glance this week. His irons, which had been a big question last year and the beginning of this year as well, have rounded into form and he has gained on approach in six straight events. His putting and short game, which have always been major issues, have leveled out as well, resulting in plenty of top finishes for the two-time major winner this season.

However, what about his focus right now? The two tournaments before the last two majors were each Signature or invitational events, with massive prize pools. However, in his play before the Masters, he finished T75 at the Valero Texas Open. It is the smallest of sample sizes, but is it possible that Morikawa will use this event as a tuneup for next week?

After all, Morikawa has played this event twice, in 2021 and 2022. He missed the cut and finished T71. I'm not saying we're going to see more of the same, but the week after he finished T71, he won his Open Championship title.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't blame anyone for taking Morikawa. The price isn't bad at all.

Outright Winner Pick for Genesis Scottish Open: Ludvig Aberg +1600 (7.4%)

Aberg will be one of the additions to my betting card, and it makes a ton of sense, besides the fact that he is on of my Rithmm model's favorite picks this week. Can you look at the list of traits that lead to success at the Scottish Open and tell me that Aberg doesn't check the box?

Aberg has been one of the best drivers of the golf ball this season, ranking second in Total Driving and 16th in Driving Distance. After he bombs it into the middle of the fairway, Aberg has gained strokes on approach in eight straight events and has only lost strokes on approach in one of his 14 events this season. Lastly, despite losing strokes at the Travelers recently, the Swede has gained strokes with the flatstick in five of his last six.

All in all, we've been waiting for Aberg to win an event this season, and he's come close plenty, with five top ten finishes. Why shouldn't this be the week he closes one out?

AI Caddie Picks for Round 1

The AI Caddie is an awesome Rithmm tool that allows you to go hole by hole with any player you choose and it will show you a chart of how likely that player is versus the field to get any score on a hole.

Closing Remarks on 2024 Genesis Scottish Open Course Preview

We have almost arrived at the last major of the season, so the Renaissance Club is a perfect venue to get familiar with next week's Open Championship course. I hope that my best bets & course preview gives you all the insights and predictions needed to make informed wagers.

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