As the weekend approaches, Rory McIlroy will seek to get his golf year back underway at the Scottish Open as The Grateful Golfer offers a charming view of the opposition.
The Scottish Open golf tournament is growing in importance for professional golfers on the global stage. Always a European favourite, this tournament is the last opportunity to play competitive golf on a link style course before The Open Championship.
The Scottish Open will be played at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Course, a majestic track, founded in 1780, is touted as the sixth oldest golf course in the world. All the players will have to contend with the wind, rough, and potential squalls to win this prestigious event.
Measuring 6867 yards, this historic course is short by modern standards. However, it can bare its teeth at any player not showing it the proper respect it deserves. All four of the last Open Champions have played in the Scottish Open and therefore, this weekend’s tournament is the perfect precursor to one of golf’s most famous Majors.
Riddled with European players, many of the world’s top players have chosen not to vie for victory at Aberdeen. It is their loss and by no means weakens the field; it is still a world-class group with a few less famous faces. Regardless, the competition will be fierce and it will be very exciting to watch the professionals navigate this difficult course.
As the weekend unfolds, there are many notable players that have a better than average shot at winning the Scottish Open. Regardless of where you search, the same six names keep topping the list of favourites. These are all well-known names and should come as no surprise to any golfing pundit. They are as follows:
- Rory McIlroy
- Justin Rose
- Phil Mickelson
- Jamie Donaldson
- Luke Donald
- Lee Westwood
It is easy to pick any one of these great players to raise the trophy over their head, but let’s not forget some of the more veteran players like Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, or Sir Nick Faldo. These champions are well down the list of potential winners and given their recent play, are probably ranked fairly.
However, players such as these always find a way to win if given the opportunity; remember Els’ dramatic victory over Adam Scott in 2012? Counting out these proven clutch players would be a very big mistake for anybody to make heading into this week’s action.
The challenge to picking any winner is the plethora of uncontrollable variables faced by every player during each round. An interesting trend on tour this year is the number of first-time winners.
The young bulls are stampeding over their competition and do not hold the old lions in awe anymore. On any given day, an unknown player can shoot low and rise to the top of the leaderboard. That seems to be the trend in the professional ranks this year.
If one of the top six win the this week, there is a good chance that the current four-year trend of going on to win The Open may hold.
Never one to shy away from the tough question, The Grateful Golfer picks Rory McIlroy to win both the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and The Open Championship. He is ready, prepared and focused on winning this year. All that is left is for McIlroy to return to his former glory!
The Grateful Golfer, Pundit Arena