Weekly Golf Preview – John Deere Classic | Scottish Open

A week before The Open offers golfers on both sides of the Atlantic, either late practice or the final chance to qualify.

The Scottish Open offers a great chance to prepare for the Open as since 2011 they have been played on Links courses similar to what the golfers will come up against at the Open the following week.

And in 2018, the hugely popular Gullane Golf Club hosts, and the players are clearly happy given the strong field in East Lothian including a host of PGA Tour based stars.

The John Deere is the traditional American warm-up and to help attract players who will or could compete in The Open, they sponsor a charter flight on Sunday night and arrives in Britain the next morning.

See below as we run through tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • Gullane Golf Club, East Lothian
  • First staged in 1935
  • Current champion is Rafa Cabrera-Bello

FIELD: The field gets better and better year on year for this tournament, and this year is one of the best on the European Tour – with PGA based stars Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed
Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson all on show – to accompany Europe’s finest, including defending champion Rafa Cabrera-Bello, although the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson have decided to give this week a miss.

QUOTES: Phil Mickelson is one of the Scottish Open’s biggest supporters and he is more than happy to be back.

“Being back at Gullane and being right there near Muirfield will bring back a lot of good memories, but then I’m also delighted to play Gullane as I remember birding two of my last three holes on the final day which was great to take to St. Andrews for the following week’s Open.

“I always get a lot out of playing the week before, and I have always gotten a lot out of The Scottish Open going back to when I started playing at Loch Lomond well over a decade ago, and since it’s been on links golf, I get even more out of it.”


  • Staged at TPC Deere Run, Illinois.
  • First staged in 1971
  • Current champion is Bryson DeChambeau

FIELD: Not the greatest of field ever seen for the John Deere with returning champion Bryson DeChambeau hoping to defend his crown, although favourite this week is in-form Italian Francesco Molinari.

QUOTES: Molinari arrives in Illinois looking for more success. “I think I’m lucky enough that I play the game in a way that you can play most courses, to be honest, if I’m in good form, which I am at the moment,” he said.

“It’s going to be a case of doing my things well, going through my processes well through the week, and hitting good shots. If you hit good shots you’re going to have quite a lot of chances around here.

“So that means I have to making some putts, and hopefully get to Sunday afternoon with a chance.”

ODDS provided by Betfair:

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

The Scottish Open looks an absolute belter, and I can see some interesting names. It will be interesting to see how Patrick Reed shapes up as I think he can challenge in the open but I think Rickie Fowler could be the one to watch at Gullane.

In America and it looks a tricky pick for sure, but I would give me vote to Kyle Stanley – think he could be a danger.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

The Open is on the horizon and it’s no surprise that the European Tour holds the upper hand for glamour this week.

Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler, both at 9/1, are the joint favourites to win the Scottish Open, closely followed by 16/1 Tyrell Hatton and the 20/1 pair of Hideki Matsuyama and Masters champion Patrick Reed. Seven places are paid this week at 1/5 the odds.

Played at Gullane, just a mile from Muirfield, this is a classic, wind-whipped links layout, and the ideal warm-up for next week’s test at Carnoustie.

A decent showing at Gullane will undoubtedly see a run in the Open antepost betting so keep a watchful eye on the Betfair Exchange market especially.

Despite bearing no resemblance to a links course in any way whatsoever, the John Deere Classic continues to be the PGA Tour’s Open warm-up. As ever, the field is decent with red-hot Francesco Molinari heading the market at 9/1, followed by course lover Zach Johnson at 11/1. The 2015 Open champion has won the John Deere once and finished runner-up three times. The list of favourites is rounded out by 12/1 Bryson Dechambeau, 16/1 pair of Joaquin Niemann and Ryan Moore, and Steve Stricker at 20/1.


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