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10D AGO

Power Rankings: Genesis Scottish Open

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Power Rankings

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    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    It’s Christmas in July for golf fans.

    Across the next two weeks, you will be able to consume more action than in which the golfers themselves can participate. The fortnight begins with this week’s Genesis Scottish Open played concurrently with the ISCO Championship in Kentucky. The doubleheader will be followed by The Open Championship, also in Scotland, and the Barracuda Championship in California. All four are official PGA TOUR events hosting 156 golfers apiece, and each will be treated to a Power Rankings.

    The Renaissance Club hosts for the sixth consecutive year, the last three of which as a PGA TOUR-sanctioned site. Details of the course, what not to expect and more are below.




    This jaunt to Scotland is more than a buddies trip, although no doubt the feels for the opportunity to give it a go as a job on tracks like The Renaissance Club and Royal Troon still will feel like it on one level. There’s pure, and then there’s immersion. This is both.

    Keeping it real, The Renaissance Club doesn’t deserve an analytical viewpoint. Links courses should be groomed with a broad brush instead of a fine-tooth comb. It’s not like anyone uses (or cares about) Stimpmeter reading of lies on fairways within, say, 75 yards of the greens, but those who care so deeply about data would be overlooking the value of imagination on links-style layouts where the outcome can be determined on the ground. This isn’t to say that there’s not something to be learned from the measurable. There always is.

    At first glance, The Renaissance Club doesn’t present as challenging. It’s a par 70 with five par 3s and three par 5s, and it tips at 7,237 yards. That’s more than enough for private excursions among friends, but it’s just another setup on the surface for the play-for-pay contingent. Yet, in its first edition with ShotLink utilized last year, it’s crystal clear that The Renaissance Club is a second-, third-, fourth- and, at times, fifth-shot test.

    The course yielded the longest distance in proximity to the hole last season at 44 feet, four inches. In direct relationship with that, it also led the PGA TOUR in shortest average distance of putts converted at just 61 feet, one inch. It was the stingiest in all ranges from six feet and in, as well as from 4-8 feet. Yet, and somewhat amusingly in a devious way, the field average was 69.68, so it beat par. Rory McIlroy prevailed at 15-under 265.

    Similarly as humorous, albeit disappointing at the same time, is the fact that for what you might expect in this corner of the planet, wind is not expected to be a significant factor. That will change. It has to! But if it somehow doesn’t, hole locations will serve as the primary defense for par. Putting surfaces blanketed with fescue are governed to just 11 1/2 feet in the event that the invisible force gets any ideas, but entrants may see more green lights than they expected when they committed.

    Speaking of which, for the 83 in the field as of midday Monday who are exempt into next week’s Open Championship and bracing for golf in quintessential Open elements at Royal Troon, this week’s intended primer in similar conditions could present mostly as but a tune-up. That’s not nothing, but in the context of muscle memory, it means that Royal Troon will present more as a neutral playing field than it already is.

    Of course, three guys at The Renaissance Club will be happy just to be making last-minute arrangements for The Open. The top three at the Scottish not currently exempt into The Open will complete the field for the final major.


    ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE

    MONDAY: Power Rankings (Genesis Scottish Open)
    TUESDAY*: Power Rankings (ISCO Championship); Sleepers (Genesis Scottish Open)
    WEDNESDAY: Golfbet Insider
    SUNDAY: Points and Payouts (Genesis Scottish Open); Points and Payouts (ISCO Championship); Medical Extensions; Qualifiers; Reshuffle

    * - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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