The European Tour travels from southeastern Ireland to the east coast of Scotland for the abrdn Scottish Open – the second of two long-running open championships leading into the 149th Open Championship.
The 40th edition of Scotland’s premier golf tournament will be contested at The Renaissance Club for the third time. The newest track on Scotland’s Gold Coast will play to a par 71 and stretch to 7,136 yards for the country’s national championship.
Due to COVID, the 2020 tournament was moved from July to October and featured a fairly weak field. Thus, Aaron Rai will defend his 2020 title against a much stouter field, headlined by the likes of top-10 ranked stars Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas.
2021 abrdn Scottish Open
Tournament: abrdn Scottish Open
Tour Debut: 1972
Dates: July 8-11, 2021
Where: North Berwick, East Lothian, UK
Course: The Renaissance Club
Distance: Par 71, 7136 yards
Architect: Tom Doak (2008)
Format: Stroke Play
Winning Share: $1,333,333
Defending Champion: Aaron Rai
How to Follow the abrdn Scottish Open
GOLF CHANNEL: Thu-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Scottish Open History
The Scottish Open debuted in 1935 at Gleneagles with Englishman Percy Alliss edging compatriot Jack Busson by four strokes to win a prize of £750. The 1936 edition was sponsored by Penfold, and titled the Penfold Scottish Open. The tournament was contested at Ayr Belleisle Golf Club with Jimmy Adams beating Tom Collinge in a 36-hole playoff.
The third installment of the Scottish Open was planned for late June, 1937 at Carnoustie in advance of the 72nd Open Championship. A last-minute objection by the R&A, though, forced tournament organizers to cancel the event.
The Scottish Open returned 36 years later in 1972 as part of the inaugural season of the European Tour, with Sunbeam Electric assuming the title sponsor role. The tournament, ironically, was contested the week prior to the Open Championship. It ended after a two-year run, but returned 13 years later in 1986 with Bell signing on as the title sponsor.
In 2017 it became part of the Rolex Series, with each elite tournament in the series having a minimum prize fund of $7 million.
Past winners of the Scottish Open include Graham Marsh, Ian Woosnam, Jesper Parnevik, Thomas Bjorn, Tom Lehman, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler.
Woosnam is a three-time winner, while Els has won twice.
History: Tournament Names
- abrdn Scottish Open (2021)
- Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (2018-19)
- Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (2012-17)
- Barclays Scottish Open (2002-11)
- Scottish Open at Loch Lomond (2001)
- Standard Life Loch Lomond (1999-00)
- Standard Life World Invitational (1998)
- Loch Lomond World Invitational (1996-97)
- Scottish Open (1995-96)
- Bell’s Scottish Open (1986-94)
- Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open (1972-73)
- Penfold Scottish Open (1936)
- Scottish Open Championship (1935)
2019: Aaron Rai (-11)
2018: Brandon Stone (-13)
2017: Rafael Cabrera-Bello (-13)
2016: Alex Noren (-14)
2015: Rickie Fowler (-12)
2014: Justin Rose (-16)
2013: Phil Mickelson (-17)
264 (−20) – Ian Woosnam (1987)
264 (−18) – Peter O’Malley (1992)
3 – Ian Woosnam (1987, 1990, 1996)
2 – Ernie Els (2000, 2003)
Scottish Open Field
The field in East Lothian is headlined by PGA Tour stars Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Jon Rahm, among a bevy of top-ranked players.
Leading the way is world No. 1 Rahm who will be teeing it up for the first time since winning the U.S. Open. The 26-year old Spaniard is in the midst of another superb season, which includes his first major and a boatload of top-10 finishes.
Rahm will be teeing it up for the first time in a pure European Tour event this year, and has been made the clear favorite with U.K. bookmakers at 7-1.
McIlroy, who busted out of a lengthy winless streak two months ago at the Wells Fargo, has not played particularly well since that victory at Quail Hollow and has once again fallen outside the world top 10. The Northern Irishman enters off a T59 at last week’s Irish Open but is still considered a betting favorite at 12-1, alongside fifth-ranked Schauffele, who hasn’t played since a T7 at the U.S. Open.
World No. 3 Thomas is offered at 14-1. The Kentucky native started his season in typical JT fashion with four top 10s – including three top-5s, in his first six starts, then won the PLAYERS Championship. But the 27-year old has been off the mark ever since – going eight starts without a single top-10 finish, the longest such streak of career.
Also at 14-1 is world No. 4 Morikawa, who appears to be in top form with four top-10s in his five most recent starts, including a playoff loss at the Memorial and a top-5 finish at the U.S. Open.
The final top 10 ranked player is world No. 10 Tyrrell Hatton, who has odds of 22-1, and enters in typical Hatton form: MC-T2. Another Englishman in Matt Fitzpatrick is next at 25-1. He has struggled somewhat in his last five outings but before that was enjoying a very solid season, highlighted by a pair of top-5 finishes (Riviera, Hilton Head).
The last of the top-20 ranked players in the field is Scottie Scheffler, who checks in at No. 19. The Texan struggled in his last start at the Travelers, but had posted three top-10s in his previous four starts, including both majors (T8 PGA, T7 U.S. Open).
Another player to watch is young South African Garrick Higgo, who is ranked No. 39. The South Africa has struggled (T64-MC-MC) since his breakout PGA Tour win at the Palmetto Championship, but being back on European Tour soil – where in his last four starts he won twice with two other top-10 finishes – may give him a boost.
Finally, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre will be the top-ranked (No. 51) home hopeful this week, and enters off a DQ at the Irish Open due to a COVID tracing id.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Jon Rahm 7-1
2. Rory McIlroy 12-1
2. Xander Schauffele 12-1
4. Justin Thomas 14-1
4. Collin Morikawa 14-1
Full Field & Odds
The Renaissance Club | North Berwick, East Lothian, UK | July 8-11, 2021