Dan Roebuck’s Scottish Open preview: Els best of favourites

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The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is the last event ahead of the Open Championship, with players hoping to hone their skills ahead of the third Major of the season.

And while the winner this week will have the odds against him when it comes to lifting the Claret Jug, there’s no doubt that this tournament is good preparation for the following week’s Grand Slam – as all of the past three Open winners have teed it up in Scotland prior to their Major victory.

That perhaps is one of the reasons Phil Mickelson is playing on the European Tour this week. However, as we’ve pointed out in the past, his record isn’t great in these type of events and he is easily overlooked at 20/1.

Of the two other players vying for favouritism at 16/1 – Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson – the Big Easy looks worth following. The Open champion hasn’t got the form in the book at Castle Stuart Links – the third time the Inverness layout has been used to stage this tournament – but since his Royal Lytham success his play – especially his putting – has been vastly improved and he could easily follow up his BMW International Open victory of a fortnight ago with another win here.

As for Stenson, it’s been his poor form on the greens that has been the sole reason he hasn’t been seen in the winners’ enclosure this year.

I’m quite prepared to give Francesco Molinari another chance in the staking plan at 25/1 after including him last week when 18th in France. His form remains good and he was second at Castle Stuart 12 months ago.

Lastly, Danny Willett can give punters a run for their money at a decent price of 50/1. The Englishman has had a troubled season due to a back injury but was 10th in France on Sunday and is a solid links performer.

My three off the tee – Els, Molinari and Willett.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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