Scottish Open Preview

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Luke DonaldA host of top stars will line-up at Castle Stuart this week looking to fine tune their game for next week's Open Championship. Luke Donald will be defending the title he won so impressively last year, romping away with a score of 19-under par after only three rounds of play, after severe thunderstorms had shortened the tournament (Luke Donald 15/2 to win). He will be hoping for a similar type of warm-up this year as he goes in search of that elusive first major which he would love to attain on home turf. Padraig Harrington is also looking to make a return to the winner's circle and the two-time Open Champion is quite fond of links courses. His game is starting to come together once again with five top 15 finishes in his last six events and the Irishman could well be in contention again this week (Padraig Harrington 14/1 to win). He also came 14th in this event last year, showing he is no stranger to the course in question.

Francesco Molinari is another player who may be hitting just the right form in time for the Open after coming so close to a victory last week with a superb final round. He will be looking to take that momentum into this week's event on the back of two top 10 finishes on the bounce (Francesco Molinari 18/1 to win). With four top 10s in his last four starts Englishman Ross Fisher has to be considered in the betting (Ross Fisher 22/1), whilst Phil Mickelson is also lining up this week in Scotland and will be hoping to improve his links record (Phil Mickelson 28/1 to win).

If you're looking for value then there's some outside chances for the likes of Mark Foster (Mark Foster 80/1 to win) and Chris Wood (Chris Wood 80/1 to win). Both players have experience on links courses with Foster coming 14th on this course last year and Wood having already achieved two top 5 finishes at the Open Championships at a very young age. Foster has three top 20 finishes in his last five starts, whilst Wood has three top 25s in his last five. David Lynn is also priced up similarly (David Lynn 80/1 to win) and after finishing in a tie for 25th place here last year he shouldn't be dismissed. His recent form is encouraging too with a 4th placed finish last week and two other top 15 finishes in the last month.

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