Justin Thomas (12/1 – Tournament Outright) says the sheer quality of the field at the Scottish Open is enough to motivate him as he looks to build his form for next week’s Open Championship at St Andrews.
The traditional warm-up event for the battle for the Claret Jug starts on Thursday and, for the fourth year in a row, will be held at North Berwick’s Renaissance Club.
A rare chance to play links golf provides the perfect opportunity for players to hone their seaside golf skills and this event has attracted 14 of the top 15 in the world.
Thomas sits fifth in the rankings and has enjoyed a fine 2022, highlighted by his second Major win at May’s PGA Championship.
The 29-year-old has finished in the top 10 in each of his last two appearances at the Scottish Open and will hope to build form this week to improve on an Open record that needs work, with a T11 in 2019 the best he has recorded.
Thomas will play alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Tommy Fleetwood over the first couple of days and the Louisville-native admits he is excited about not just taking on his playing partners, but also one of the strongest fields of the year (1st Round 3 Balls – Genesis Scottish Open – Thomas 13/10 Matsuyama 9/5, Fleetwood, 9/4).
“If you throw out the Majors, I would have to think that this is going to be one of the two, three, four, best fields that we play the entire year, which you know, for the Scottish Open, for Scotland, for the DP World Tour, PGA TOUR, that’s a huge deal, and it should be.
“Everybody involved should be very proud of that and I know I’m happy and proud to be here, and some very impressive and unbelievable players have not only played here but won this – not necessarily here, but this tournament.
“It’s adding your name to that list. It’s becoming a part of that history.
“It’s something that I definitely want to be a part of but I’ve got 14 of the top 15 and plenty of other good ones to try to beat. So it will be a fun week.”
With most of the big names in Scotland, there is a chance for some of the lower-ranked players to impress on the PGA Tour, with the Barbasol Championship taking place in Thomas’ home state of Kentucky.