As Hoylake gears up for the final major of the year next week, first up, Renaissance hosts the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open, beginning on Thursday.
One of five Rolex Series events, North Berwick welcomes the cream of golf in its second year as a PGA Tour event.
A traditional warm-up to the Open Championship, the week prior in Scotland is now bigger than ever before.
Won last year by Xander Schauffele, this year’s purse is the richest yet, with the winner netting a cool $1.62million.
Who are we looking at to contend in East Lothian?
Fowler holds momentum – 18/1 for 8 places with BoyleSports
For Rickie Fowler, the story of the season has been of his own Renaissance.
The 34-year-old from California, for large parts of last month’s US Open at LA Country Club, looked set to finally end his 15-year wait for a first major title.
Having led wire-to-wire in his native Golden State up until Sunday, to the huge disappointment of his many fans then fell away over the final 18 holes at LACC, finishing T5.
However, following a rather bitter pill two weeks prior, Fowler then picked up his first PGA Tour win in over four years.
Sealing the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit via a playoff win over Adam Hadwin and Collin Morikawa, Fowler arrives in Scotland in fine fettle.
Indeed, not only does he stand as a winner of this event in 2015 at Gullane, the Californian boasts a good links record with three T6 or better finishes at the Open
Coming into this year’s tournament on the back of eight top 10 finishes also, Fowler could be a big player this week.
Lowry lurking – 30/1 for 8 places with 888sport
A bigger price in the betting but still a name who will have many backers at Renaissance, Shane Lowry can be prominent.
Not only is Lowry, 36, 15th in the Power Rankings, the weather this week is set to play to Lowry’s strengths.
Having blossomed at Royal Portrush to claim what remains his only major in 2019, though the Irishman has proved his game in all conditions, it is in the wet where he will always thrive.
The man from County Offaly is not only a links pro but won the BMW PGA Championship on British soil at Wentworth last season.
When the going gets tough, the rough gets tough but on many occasions, the Irishman has proved his staying power in the elements.
If the rain and wind linger in North Berwick, Lowry looks a very decent shout.
In true testing links going, the list of contenders this week is indeed long.
One of the big outsiders certainly not in name, Justin Rose will still be regarded as an outsider at Renaissance, but very much a dark horse.
Winner at Royal Aberdeen nine years back, the Englishman has not won on home British soil since 2014, but carries hopes here at 45/1.
Having notched nine top 25 finishes across the globe this term, only a fortnight ago Rose came T4 at the Belfry.
Royal Liverpool may suit his game more, but Rose might yet be celebrating early.
Other names in the frame include an 18/1 ready-made links winner Viktor Hovland, who can go so much better after missing the cut last year.
Documenting Schauffele’s chances already, the defending champ is in good shape with 10-straight T25 finishes, whilst Patrick Cantlay was fourth here in 2022 and is currently top in the all-round rankings at 14/1.
Tommy Fleetwood will be a big local favourite in Liverpool next week and should also feature, whilst Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick are ready to impress amongst a strong English field.
Fitzpatrick is the longest-priced of those at Genesis, on the table at some 25/1.
For a longer punt, but by no means a wild stab in the dark, Kurt Kitayama was runner-up here 12 months ago and can be snapped up for treble figures at a best price of 110s.