8 July 2023
Eight of the world’s top 10 are heading for ‘Golf Country’ as the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open draws closer at the Renaissance Club, North Berwick.
Defending Champion Xander Schauffele will be looking to retain the title he won 12 months ago and will undoubtedly start as one of the tournament favourites.
Open Champion Cameron Smith & Masters Champion Jon Rahm will not be in the 156 player field – despite both having played last year – on the east coast.
The Scottish Open is one of the biggest tournaments on the DP World Tour, as its’ traditional spot the week before The Open Championship, acts as the perfect warm-up to allow the star-studded field to adjust to links golf conditions.
The conditions have played havoc at the Renaissance Club in the past and that has been reflected in the winning scores. Schauffele won with -7 last year, whilst in 2021 Min Woo Lee took the title on -18 after a 3-way play-off with Thomas Detry & Matt Fitzpatrick.
Prior to that, Aaron Rai won on -11 & Bernd Wiesberger on -22, so the scoring could very well be dependent on the conditions that the players face – being in Scotland of course that includes a 99% chance of high winds and rain at some point in the proceedings!
Other previous winners of the Scottish Open include Major Champions such as; Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer & Ian Woosnam.
All eyes this time around though could be on the 2015 Champion Rickie Fowler.
Following a tough couple of years on tour, Fowler won his first title in 1,610 days at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, weeks after leading (and finishing T5) at the US Open in Los Angeles. That was won by Wyndham Clark, who will also be playing at The Renaissance Club.
The home crowd will once again get behind the Scottish players, notably Bob MacIntyre, Richie Ramsay, Ewen Ferguson, Calum Hill & Stephen Gallacher amongst others, as Scotland seeks its’ first home winner of the event since Colin Montgomerie’s win at Loch Lomond in 1999.
Loch Lomond and Gleneagles were traditionally the home of the event until 2011, but since then the tournament has been hosted at Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen, Gullane, Dundonald Links & The Renaissance Club – where is has been played since 2019 and will continue to be played until at least 2026.
It’s sure to be an interesting test in the lead up to the men’s final Major of the year at Royal Liverpool, which gets underway on July 20th.
Images via D.Graham
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