The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open continues its tour around the country, with Gullane hosting the event for the second time in four years, Phil Casey writes.
Rickie Fowler lifted the title in 2015 thanks to a brilliant finish to the final round, the American falling two shots off the pace after a bogey on the 14th before responding with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to snatch victory from Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar.
Fowler did not defend his title but still has an excellent record in the event, finishing eighth at Royal Aberdeen in 2014 and ninth last year at Dundonald, therefore presenting us with the traditional dilemma – can he backed at a price of 10/1?
For a player of such talent Fowler simply does not win often enough and would only have rewarded each-way backers twice this season, finishing fourth in the season-opener in Hawaii and second in the Masters.
Despite the late withdrawals of Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood, 17 of the world’s top 50 are in the field at Gullane and although it would be no surprise to see Fowler play well, bigger prices are to be preferred.
And at double Fowler’s odds, England’s Tyrrell Hatton appeals in the each-way market as he looks to add to his reputation as something of a links specialist.
Hatton won his first European Tour title in the Dunhill Links Championship and made a successful defence 12 months later, before winning the Italian Open the following week for good measure.
The world number 23 missed four cuts in five events earlier this season but has since been sixth in the US Open and 16th in France – he was also 22nd at Gullane in 2015 – and can be backed each-way at 20/1.
Next up is another Englishman in the shape of Chris Wood, whose links pedigree dates back to finishing fifth in the Open as an amateur in 2008 and third the following year at Turnberry.
Wood was one of our tips for last week at 40/1 and finished a creditable 14th thanks to a closing 67 and although the field is somewhat stronger here, the former Ryder Cup player can be backed each-way at 45/1.
And finally, France’s Raphael Jacquelin could reward a small each-way interest following his tie for 10th place last week. Jacquelin was second at Gullane three years ago and third in the Shot Clock Masters as recently as a month ago, but is available at 150/1.
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