Starts: 28th July 2022
Course: Fairmont Resort, Scotland
Length: 7,230 yards
2021 Champion: Grant Forrest
Designer: Sam Torrance, 2001 with 2009 updates from Gary Stephenson
Type of Course: Modern Links
Used Since: 2021
Rough: Thick if you miss wide enough
Water Hazard: Not in-play much
Par 5's: 3rd, 6th, 12th and 18th.
Premium on: Approach Play
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
Fairmont hosted the Scottish Championship in 2020, won by Adrian Otaegui. That event was played in October so colder and softer conditions.
The Hero Open was played at the Forest of Arden in 2020 before switching to Fairmont last year.
A mixed forecast for the week with temperatures ranging between 17 and 20 degrees.
Cloudy and a gentle breeze. Wind 5-11mph
Cloudy and a moderate breeze. Wind 7-14mph
Light rain showers and a moderate breeze. Wind 10-16mph
Light rain showers and a moderate breeze. Wind 8-12mph
Adrian Otaegui won here with a score of -23 on 2020 and Grant Forrest won with a score of -24 last year. Expect another low scoring affair!
Otaegui was ranked 248th in the world and had finished 2nd at the English Championship earlier that season. He had two wins on tour and several 2nd place finishes previously. In contrast, Forrest was winning for the first time on Tour and was 337th in the world.
Hanbury Manor which hosted the English Championship may be a useful guide. The Renaissance which hosts the Scottish Open is another modern links design.
Three of the top five last year had posted a top 35 finish at the Scottish Championship in 2020 but winner, Grant Forrest, had missed the cut. Course form preferred but not essential.
Recent form isn't essential, three of the top 5 last year arrived on the back of a missed cut the week before. That was the same as the 2020 Scottish Championship. A common trait across the top five in both events was the fact they had all shown signs of form in the preceding weeks. All five last year had a top 10 finish in their last eight starts. Four out of five in 2020 had a top 10 in their last eight starts.
Favourites or Outsiders
With a weak front of the market we can take the front runners on.
With only two years of course form to go on, we will analyse the stats of the top three at each of the events.
SG: Off The Tee
The front three in 2020 ranked 30-27-9. The front three in 2021 ranked 20-23-56. Solid driving definitely preferred.
The front three in 2020 ranked 76-17-58. The front three in 2021 ranked 21-130-134. Not necessary to hit it far to compete.
The front three in 2020 ranked 28-64-14. The front three in 2021 ranked 108-2-27. Driving Accuracy is not massively important this week.
The front three in 2020 ranked 1-3-12. The front three in 2021 ranked 10-15-24. Strong iron play is key.
Greens in Regulation
The front three in 2020 ranked 30-4-8. The front three in 2021 ranked 1-26-28. Confirms the importance of strong iron play.
SG: Around The Green
The front three in 2020 ranked 9-16-13. The front three in 2021 ranked 10-40-4. Strong short game preferred.
The front three in 2020 ranked 7-23-38. The front three in 2021 ranked 16-5-10. Strong putting helps but not key.
The 1st and 2nd holes played as stroke index 1 and 2 last year. They were closely followed by the 17th and 10th holes.
Par 5 6th was the easiest hole on the course, followed by the driveable par 4 7th hole. Short par 4's at the 4th and 15th provide other birdie opportunities outside of the par 5's.
Fast or Slow Start
In 2020 the eventual top 6 were ALL in the top 10 after round one. Last year, three of the top five were inside the top 10 after round one. However, winner Grant Forrest, was outside the top 10. Fast starts are preferred though.