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Our PGA pro’s secret to winning bets in Scotland might surprise you

Editor's Note: This article is published in partnership with Read The Line, a Golf Digest content partner.

July 10, 2024

Andrew Redington

Do you know what the secret weapon for predicting winning bets in Scotland is? Lag putting. Seriously, it sounds like hyperbole, but I assure you it is not. A quick look across the list of recent winners of the Genesis Scottish Open and Open Championship reveal a short list of great approach putters.

An approach putt is your first putt. The PGA Tour’s Shotlink system analyzes everything, and this statistic measures how close you are after your first stroke on the green (on average). The shorter that second putt, the better you are at “lagging” the ball up to the hole. This skill separates the field in Scotland every year. While others chase weather predictions and wave advantages, follow the one characteristic that remains constant.

Watch the below video for Keith Stewart's betting analysis of the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open on SportsGrid:

The Renaissance Club is already rain soaked and will play slow. A par 70 at 7,200 yards will get eviscerated by the elite if we do not see a change in the wind forecast. As of Wednesday, the wind is absent on the weather apps. Ball speed will help you contend, but the winners will be able to putt slow, wet, undulating greens. The top 10 approach putters in this field on slow greens are: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Brian Harman, Andrew Novak, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Taylor Moore, Jordan Spieth, Ben Griffin, Aaron Rai and Tom Kim!

These guys get it close from everywhere with their putter in hand. Consider them also excellent short-game specialists in Scotland as well. Tom Doak’s design at the Renaissance Club does not visually resemble his other PGA Tour work in Houston; Memorial Park, but the leaderboards share a couple of names. Moore, Rai and Noren all finished inside the top 11 at the Texas Children’s Houston Open in March. Coincidence? I think not. Doak’s diabolical greens are a design characteristic of all his courses. If you could contend in Houston, I like your ability to excel here, especially on the greens.

I believe there’s a significant edge on (and around) the putting surfaces at the Renaissance Club. When building your betting card and DFS lineups favor those who can roll it best from long range. Live betting is another very valuable opportunity to employ this edge as well.

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Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor and content partner with Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA Tour. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on SportsGrid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.