December 9, 2023

Another major tournament in professional golf is approaching, the last in 2022: next week’s British Open at the Old Course in St Andrews. With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson expected on the field, along with other notable names, the quest to win the Claret jug should be a sight to behold.

First, however, comes this week Scottish Open Genesis At the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. The tournament, which boasts an impressive stadium – 14 of the world’s top 15 players – is also likely to offer some lasting memories.

Here are five players to watch.

It would be great to see what happens from here on out with Fitzpatrick, who won the US Open last month in his first PGA Tour victory.

Will Fitzpatrick, 27, follow the path of Danny Willett, another big champion from England – the 2016 Masters – who hasn’t won in the US since? Willett scored three wins on the European Tour.

Or will he be like one of the game’s greats, Nick Faldo, also from England, who has six majors on his resume?

Fitzpatrick has the talent to be a worker for many years. His approach to dugout at No. 18 in the Open, which he ended up 18 feet from the hole, was the clutch he got. It ranks tenth in the world.

Halfway into the World Open, Morikawa, who was still only 25 years old, looked destined for a potential third major title in three years. He won the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2021 British Open.

Then the seven came over 77 in Saturday’s third round, which featured two double bobsters and four bosses.

After a breakdown like this at such a grand stage, some players might not have been able to call up their best the next day.

This was not the case with Morikawa. He rebounded with a four-under-66, his second of the week, to finish a tie in fifth. Morikawa, seeded No. 4, tied for 71st at last year’s Scottish Open.

With all the attention that Scotty Scheffler has had this season, it’s easy to overlook what Burns has accomplished: three wins and eight Top 10s in 19 starts. One of the victories over Schaeffler came in May at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.

Burns, 25, who tied for 18th at the Renaissance Club in 2021, makes his share of the birds, 4.40 per round, seventh among Tour players. And while his accuracy off the tee isn’t very impressive—he ranks 134th in that category—it doesn’t seem to be holding him back as he ranks 14th in the Greens in regulation. He is ranked ninth.

Shaveli, 28, was way behind schedule when he broke two weeks ago at the Connecticut Travelers Championship. It’s been more than three years since he took over a singles PGA Tour event, the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Perhaps he will now get a roll.

Schauffele, ranked No. 11, does not appear to have any major weaknesses. He averages about 305 yards from a tee, tied for 12th in greens in regulation and second in sand keeping ratio. If there’s any aspect of his game he could improve on, it would be converting more shots from 15 feet or more.

Ram, the former No. 1 seed, hasn’t been in conflict much in recent months. With his immense talent, that could change at any moment.

Despite winning the Mexican Open two months ago, he failed to factor into the Masters, finishing 27, and in the PGA, placing 48. At the US Open, where he was the defending champion, Ram was still on his way to Sunday, but fired four goals over 74 to end the tie for 12th.

In third place, Ram, 27, competed in his first Scottish Open in 2021. He came in seventh after just two shots.

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