Without a two-tee start in operation, the Scottish Open tee times for the first two rounds are spread over more than nine hours. The first group are out at 06:30 and the last group starts at 15:40 so it's a long day but everyone is playing the course conventionally, starting at the first, and the front-nine is considerably easier than the back. The three easiest holes on the course are all encountered in the first half-a-dozen holes.
Rickie Fowler was matched at just 2.90 this morning, when he reached seven-under-par after a dozen holes, and then Patrick Reed touched [4.5] this afternoon after he played the front-nine in just 29 strokes. That put the US Masters winner on six-under-par for the tournament at the turn but he failed to birdie another hole and he bogeyed the 16th.
They may have stuttered on the back-nine but Fowler trails first round leader, Luke List, by just a stroke and Reed is just two back and the pair dominate the market.
With 25 players within three strokes of List's lead, it's a wide-open affair but I was happy to make an early move on links specialist, Tyrrell Hatton, who I backed for next week's Open Championship when I looked at next week's major at Christmas.
Hatton, who's alongside Reed and one of my pre-event picks, Matthew Southgate, on five-under-par, has won the last two editions of the Alfred Dunhill Links tournament and I can see him getting another links win here. He was poor from tee-to-green today but his putting was brilliant and if he can just find the fairways with a bit more regularity tomorrow morning he could be the man to beat.
I'll have a look at the John Deere Classic (previewed here) tomorrow and post an update if I get involved.
Scottish Open Pre-Event Selections: Louis Oosthuizen @36.00 - NON-RUNNER Chris Wood @ 55.00 Eddie Pepperell @ 120.00 Matt Wallace @ 130.00 Matthew Southgate @ 140.00 Marc Warren @ 230.00 David Horsey @ 310.00
In-Play Pick: Tyrrell Hatton @12.50
John Deere Classic Pre-Event Selections: Austin Cook @ 55.00 Scott Stallings @ 95.00 Whee Kim @ 140.00