With only a week to go until The Open Championship, many stellar names have jetted into Aberdeen to shake off the links-course cobwebs, including defending Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open champion Phil Mickelson.
The American lefty is third in the betting at 16/1, behind Brits Justin Rose at 14s and market leader Rory McIlroy at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
However, Mickelson will have to go some to repeat either leg of his magnificent double of last season, when he scooped this trophy before going on to claim a first Claret Jug at Muirfield.
No player has ever successfully defended the Scottish Open in its 42-year history, while only a quartet of US golfers have ever compiled back-to-back European Tour wins of the same event.
Furthermore, after three years being held at Castle Stuart, where Mickelson triumphed last time out, the Scottish Open debuts at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club for the 2014 edition.
Of the trio of major winners at the front of the pack, Rose’s chances stand-out after the Englishman’s PGA Tour win at the Quicken Loans National before flying in, while McIlroy arrives off the back of a missed cut at the Irish Open.
An improving Luke Donald at 20/1, also a former Scottish Open winner in 2011, is certainly worth some each-way money.
Away from the tricky business of winner-guessing though, there is a strong trend of one Scottish player making the top 10 within the last seven renewals of the event.
Clearly used to breeze (especially as far north as Aberdeen) the leading homegrown candidate has to be Stephen Gallacher – 3/1 for both a top-10 spot and to be the highest-ranked Scot come Sunday.
The Dechmont native is enjoying a pocket-swelling year on the European Tour, where he’s currently 10th in the Race To Dubai standings.
Gallacher arrives off the back of an 18th place at the Alstom Open de France and has posted previous top 10s at this event twice since 2008.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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