The Genesis Scottish Open is the first of the tangible connections forged when the PGA TOUR and the DP World Tour announced their Strategic Alliance in November of 2020. The tournament is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While it wasn’t billed as an all-star game with a home-field advantage, that’s what it is in its debut as a co-sanctioned competition between the circuits.
The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, hosts for the fourth consecutive year, but, and obviously, for the first time among most (read: not all) PGA TOUR members in the field. For an analysis of the Tom Doak design, how this field is constructed and more, continue reading beneath the ranking of projected contenders.
POWER RANKINGS: GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN
Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann, Hideki Matsuyama and defending champion Min Woo Lee will be among the notables reviewed in Draws and Fades.
Adjacent to Muirfield and 20 miles due south as the seabird soars from St. Andrews, The Renaissance Club sits on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. It’s a par 70 with five par 3s and three par 5s. Since last year’s edition of the tournament, the seventh hole has been reduced to a 505-yard par 4. It’s the most impactful of numerous changes on the course that include new fairway bunkers at the par-4 first, par-4 fourth and par-5 10th holes.
At 7,237 yards, The Renaissance Club is not terribly long by the standards of touring professionals, but coastal breezes add to the challenge. Well, at least they’re supposed to.
To the dismay of anyone who was hungry for quintessential Scottish weather, (disappointingly) calm conditions instead are expected for most of the tournament. Gusts likely will have an impact only on Friday. The slight threat of rain that opens the tournament reduces to virtually zero for the remainder. Daytime highs will range from the mid-60s on Thursday to the low 70s on the weekend. Lovely.
Because of its exposure, The Renaissance Club requires wind to defend par, so, without it, scores will be low this week. In its first spin as host of this tournament in 2019, Bernd Wiesberger prevailed at 22-under 262. Aaron Rai scored 11-under 273 in 2020, and then Min Woo Lee took last year’s title at 18-under 266. Oddly, all three required a playoff to pay off the work done in regulation.
Despite overall par dropping, the winner will land double digits under par. Keeping the ball in no deeper than two-inch intermediate rough is a sound plan, but without much wind, guys will be able to control drives and attack flags. Fescue greens will run no faster than 11½ feet on the Stimpmeter.
The majority of the field reserved for 156 is split in half between members of the PGA TOUR and the DP World Tour. The PGA TOUR’s contribution is sliced into those commits who finished inside the top 30 of the 2020-21 FedExCup, as well as the order of the 2021-22 FedExCup at the conclusion of the U.S. Open three weeks ago. DP World Tour members qualified via its eligibility ranking. Exemptions for three golfers from the Korean PGA also were approved.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Power Rankings (Genesis Scottish Open)
TUESDAY*: Power Rankings (Barbasol Championship), Sleepers (Genesis Scottish Open), Expert Picks, Draws & Fades
WEDNESDAY: Pick ’Em Preview
SUNDAY: Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Rookie Ranking
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.