Returning from a largely successful summer in the USA, Matt Wallace looks primed to go close in the Scottish Open and retain his place inside the world’s top 50.
That’s where he’s been for a couple of years now, but some disruptions off the course have halted his progress (or at least they had until recently).
A welcome and overdue period with coach Robert Rock looks to have helped him turn a corner and there was a lot to like about his US Open effort last time. Down in grade, he should go close.
It could pay to stick with those who’ve been taking on the world’s best in the US this summer, and Ian Poulter fits the bill.
Ignore his tame US Open effort last time – he’s never threatened in the major he’s least suited to, and Winged Foot was too much of a test from the tee. Judge him instead on several good performances before that plus last year’s share of 14th here at The Renaissance.
Tougher conditions this time will definitely suit and, like Wallace, he’s motivated to stay in the Ryder Cup conversation.
With foul weather forecast for much of the event, it’s worth taking a couple of chances rather than getting stuck into the short-priced duo who head the market.
Eddie Pepperell hasn’t managed to put four rounds together yet this summer, but he’s not as far away as might appear, and a return to Scotland should help. He’s been practicing nearby and loves this event having been second, sixth and 12th in six tries.
Like Poulter, tougher scoring conditions will suit this former British Masters winner who often raises his game close to home.
The absence of fans won’t be welcomed by anyone, but perhaps the home players might benefit from it whether they like it or not.
Playing in front of thousands of roaring supporters in such a prestigious event can weigh heavy on some and the Scottish contingent might find this easier as a result. Richie Ramsay has been sixth in the event before and is a member at the course.
He started with a round of 65 last year and returns in solid form having made all bar one cut this summer. A known grinder, the weather won’t bother him one bit and course knowledge could be all the more useful.
- Read Ben Coley’s full preview at Sporting Life.com
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