Golf tips and FREE bets: Three picks for the Scottish Open including 90/1 defending champion

THE SCOTTISH Open takes place in North Berwick this week as the top players in the world gear up for the Open.

It’s an exciting field at the Renaissance Club with the likes of Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Xander Schauffele all in action.

And our man David Facey has made his picks for the week.

Tips for Scottish Open

Hot shot: Branden Grace, 35-1

The South African battler rewarded each way backers at three figure odds with a share of seventh at the US Open, and he is high on confidence at the moment.

That sparkling effort at Torrey Pines came on the back of a fourth place finish at The Memorial. He also won in Puerto Rico this year, albeit against a relatively weak field.

His performance in seeing off Louis Oosthuizen to win the South African Open at the start of last year was even more impressive, and the Springbok golfers have a good record in this event.

Grace’s compatriots, Christiaan Bezuidenhouit and Justin Harding fell away tamely after threatening to do us a favour last week, so the South Afroicans owe us one!

Mid price- Ian Poulter, 55-1

Poulter looked the likely winner of this event last year after opening with rounds of 67-66. But he was blown off course as the weather got worse, and finished T6.

Although it will be wet again this time, the winds will be nowhere near as strong, and Poulter should be there at the business end of things.

It is Ryder Cup year of course, and Poults always seems to find a bit extra when the chance of pulling on European colours beckons again.

His next win looked to be just around the corner after he finished in a share of third at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the end of May, and he has also posted decent finishes in all three Majors this year.

Long shot: Aaron Rai, 90-1

Last year’s winner seems to have been overlooked, largely because cancelling the Open 12 months ago meant there were no American stars, and a much weaker field at the Renaissance.

But the big names have not really prospered at this course, and most of them will be using it mainly to fine tune their games for a run at St George’s next week.

Rai’s closing 64 in awful weather, before edging out Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off, was one of the best performances of last year, and he clearly knows how to tackle this course.

He was runner-up in the Irish Open the week before his win here last year, and finished an encouraging 12th in Ireland last week, his best effort this year.

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