Fourteen of the top 15 players in the world. All four reigning Major champions. The defending Players champion. The reigning DP World Tour and PGA TOUR No.1s and the current season points race pace-setters from both sides of the Atlantic. An $8 million purse and elevated Rolex Series status. A world rankings bonanza as a consequence of all of the above.
The Genesis Scottish Open’s debut as the first event on European soil co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR has delivered on its remit even before a ball has been struck at The Renaissance Club this week.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, both the World Number One and FedEx Cup leader after a four-win 2022, headlines the strongest non-Major strength of field tournament in the 50 year history of the DP World Tour starting Thursday.
World number four and PGA Championship titleholder Justin Thomas, freshly-minted U.S. Open champion and World Number Ten Matt Fitzpatrick and fifth-ranked Collin Morikawa, the reigning DP World Tour Rankings champion who will defend the Claret Jug at next week’s 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, round out the “Major” attractions en-route to the famed Tom Doak-design in North Berwick.
Aussie Cameron Smith, who won The Players Championship, two-time DP World Tour Championship winner and 2021 U.S.Open champion Jon Rahm, FedEx Cup titleholder Patrick Cantlay, Mayakoba champion Viktor Hovland and Sam Burns, a two-time winner this season, round out those in the top ten.
Australia’s Min Woo Lee is back to defend the title he snared with a birdie at the first extra hole at Renaissance last year to see off Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry in a play-off. Lee is one of nine former returning title holders dating back to 2020: Lee (2021), Aaron Rai (2020), Brandon Stone (2018), Rafa Cabrera Bello (2017), Alex Noren (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), Justin Rose (2014), Luke Donald (2011) and Edoardo Molinari (2010).
Rahm and Thomas, both former world number ones, are intimately familiar with Renaissance after finishing 7th and T8 12 months ago while Poland’s Adrian Meronk, Kiwi Ryan Fox and China’s Haotong Li all bring eye-catching form to Scotland, Meronk as the winner of last week’s Horizon Irish Open.
Lefty Robert Macintyre is the highest-ranked Scot at 102 in the OWGR and absolutely capable of becoming the first home-grown player to win since Colin Montgomerie at Loch Lomond in 1999.
There’s also 8000 DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex points on the line which is sure to play a key role in the final make-up of the top 50 players who will contest the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 17-20. The points allocation for Rolex Series events is third only to the Majors (10,000 points) and the DP World Tour Championship (12,000 points).
Wherever you look, storylines abound in a field made up of 75 PGA Tour, 75 DP World Tour, three Korean PGA Tour and three invitees. It’s early evidence that the DP World Tour’s just upgraded strategic alliance with the PGA TOUR is working as designed.
This week’s Barbasol Championship in Kentucky and the Barracuda Championship in California, which will be played concurrently with The Open Championship, are other events co-sanctioned by both Tours.