The Open Championship is just over a week away with the action kicking-off at Royal Birkdale on 20th July, however of more immediate interest will be the goings on at Dundonald Links this weekend with the Scottish Open a useful barometer as to which players are in form, especially on links courses.
It is possible to draw up a shortlist thanks to the reduced field although we're narrowing this shortlist down to who we believe will be the ones to beat at Dundonald this weekend...
Henrik Stenson - 16/1 with Bet365
Henrik's drought came to an end last year when he triumphed in the Open Championship and he will certainly be relishing the prospect of returning to a Scottish link course as he continues his preparations to defend his title. Big players tend to dominate at the Scottish Open with names such as Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald winning in recent years. The Swede will be looking ahead to the Open Championship in just over a weeks' time but he has impressed in recent years in this competition and we believe that he is worthy of an each-way punt this weekend.
Ricky Fowler - 8/1 with BetVictor
Fowler won this tournament two years' ago and he is looking in excellent shape as things stand with top-five finishes in all-but-one of his previous four events. He tied for second place at the Memorial Tournament and followed this with a tied-fifth place finish at the US Open a fortnight later. The 2015 winner has won just a single PGA competition this year in the form of the Honda Classic, however he is in excellent form and with the Open Championship just a week or so away we expect him to add some silverware to his haul by bagging the Scottish Open title for the second time in three years.
Alexander Noren - 18/1 with Betfair
Oren won the 2016 playing of the Scottish Open and whilst the course has changed we'll be expecting the Swede to be amongst the main challengers in 2017. He has a proven ability on British links courses having triumphed in the BMW Championship at Wentworth, the British Masters and the Welsh Open in addition to his success in Scotland last year. He sits ninth in the World Rankings and he is very suited to the high winds and big greens of the courses in Britain and Scandinavia. We believe that he will go very close this weekend and having won the European Tour nine times we feel that should he be at his best, he will be hard to beat.