Local knowledge the key to Saltire Energy Matchplay success


After Rickie Fowler and Zac Johnson’s tight wins at the Scottish Open and the Open Championship earlier this month, north of the border takes the spotlight once again with the Paul Lawrie-hosted Saltire Energy Matchplay at Aberdeen’s Murcar Links.

The 1999 Open champion doesn’t look a bad bet at all at 25/1 to win his own tournament after finishing tied-40th or better in his past three, especially considering Lawrie is from the area and won the 2002 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Match Play Championship at nearby Deeside.

Lawrie certainly deserves a second glance in Ladbrokes.com’s market at a tidy price, but fellow local-boy-come-good Richie Ramsay gets our nod at 16/1 co-favourite odds.

It’s fair to assume the 32-year-old Aberdeen native has been round Murcar, described by the Scottish Golf Union as “one of the most celebrated courses in Scotland”, a few times in his past, and Ramsay is in markedly better form than his fellow Aberdonian and host.

Having broken into the world’s top 100 for the first time when sharing second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October, Ramsay has kept up the pace in recent months, with seven top 15 placings in his last 11 starts, including a pro-am win in Morocco.

Banking T10 in May’s Irish Open at Royal County Down launched the Stirling University graduate to 73rd in the world, his highest placing so far, and Ramsay goes into this event after managing the same result last time out at the Omega European Masters.

Of the three men at the head of the betting, which includes in-form Englishman Chris Wood and Lanarkshire man Marc Warren, Ramsay just about ranks as the value at 16/1.

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

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.