Hero Open Tips 2022 – Golf Betting System

Torrance Course, Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland. Designer: Sam Torrance, 2001 with 2009 updates from Gary Stephenson; Course Type: Links Style, Coastal; Par: 72; Length: 7,230 yards from back tees; Fairways: Bentgrass, Fescue, Rye; Rough: Mainly Fescue, some Bentgrass & Rye; Greens: Fescue, Bentgrass mix.

Course Overview. Originally agricultural land, Sam Torrance carved out a links-style track here in 2001 that looks like it’s been around for many decades. The par 72 hosted 6 Senior Scottish Opens between 2009-14 where it played to 6,802 yards; from the back tees, however, it can stretch to 7,230 yards, which is how it’s listed this week on the Tour’s website.

Although this won’t be classified as a links track by the purists due to its 21st century manufacturing, it looks and plays like a links, so for simplicity let’s call it a links track, albeit a modern one. Cliff-top holes that flank the Firth of Forth are particularly susceptible to the elements and classical pot bunkers are ready to gobble up any stray drives and approach shots.

Fairways are wide enough and exposed in nature as you might expect, with reasonably speedy Fescue/Bentgrass mix greens that are smooth and true. Aprons in front of some greens allow running shots into greens and in general the course offers both risk and reward options as well as creative choices to play holes in a variety of ways.

hero open tips

Tournament Stats. The 2020 Scottish Championship and last year’s Hero Open were both held here at Fairmont St Andrews and those results have been added to the combined stats and course stats pages for this week: Current Form | First Round Leader Stats | Course Stats |  Combined Stats | SG Stats.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here.

Mainly dry with the odd sunny spell is the summary for the 4 days of tournament play at Fairmont St Andrews this week. Temperatures will peak in the high 60s Fahrenheit in the afternoons, accompanied by a moderate breeze of around 10-15mph to keep the players honest, with 20mph possible on Saturday.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors. Looking at the top-3 finishers here at Fairmont St Andrews at the Scottish Championship from 2020 as well as last year’s Hero Open gives us a few clues as to the type of player that this layout might suit:

2021 Hero Open:

  • 1st, Grant Forrest (-24). 312.3 yards (13th), 48.2% fairways (65th), 86.1% greens in regulation (1st), 60% scrambling (55th), 1.63 putts per GIR (9th).
  • 2nd, James Morrison (-23). 283 yards (67th), 75% fairways (1st), 73.6% greens in regulation (21st), 78.9% scrambling (10th), 1.57 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 3rd, Santiago Tarrio (-22). 282 yards (69th), 64.3% fairways (17th), 73.6% greens in regulation (24th), 89.5% scrambling (3rd), 1.63 putts per GIR (9th).

2020 Scottish Championship:

  • 1st, Adrian Otaegui (-23). 273.5 yards (51st), 67.9% fairways (19th), 70.8% greens in regulation (28th), 76.2% scrambling (9th), 1.55 putts per GIR (3rd).
  • 2nd, Matt Wallace (-19). 290.9 yards (11th), 58.9% fairways (46th), 77.8% greens in regulation (4th), 75% scrambling (11th), 1.66 putts per GIR (18th).
  • 3rd, Aaron Rai (-17). 278.8 yards (39th), 71.4% fairways (10th), 76.4% greens in regulation (8th), 64.7% scrambling (31st), 1.58 putts per GIR (6th).

A wide range of driving distance rankings from both renewals suggests that there’s no massive advantage here at Fairmont if you’re excessively long from off the tee – indeed 2020 winner Adrian Otaegui ranked 51st out of those who made the weekend in that respect, and last year’s 2nd and 3rd place finishers James Morrison and Santiago Tarrio were right towards the bottom also.

The differential between those with good and bad GIR stats was very narrow, with most players recording a similar number of greens hit: in 2020 68.1% of GIR was 46th and 77.8% was 4th in the field, and last year was similar with many players in the 70-75% GIR bracket, so the difference between success and failure was on and around the putting surfaces.

Scrambling isn’t overly difficult here but maximising short game performance is important, as is making as many putts as possible. 9th, 1st and 9th for Putting Average last year from the final top 3 was very similar to 2020 which saw players ranking 3rd, 18th and 6th on that stat filling the podium. 2020 winner Otaegui made a massive 29 birdies and just 6 bogeys on his way to victory, opening with a 62 and closing with a 63; 2021 winner Grant Forrest made one more birdie last year with 30 in total, balanced again with 6 bogeys, so there’s no room for a cold putter here.

For further context, the Seniors have also played here in the relatively recent past for their Scottish Open and skill stats were captured for the 6 events in question:

  • 2014, Mark Davis (-5). 260 yards (26th), 73.8% fairways (34th), 64.8% greens in regulation (45th), 57.9% scrambling (8th), 1.66 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2013, Santiago Luna (-5). 271 yards (12th), 57.1% fairways (64th), 74.1% greens in regulation (19th), 64.3% scrambling (3rd), 1.85 putts per GIR (24th).
  • 2012, Anders Forsbrand (-17). 268 yards (22nd), 69.0% fairways (51st), 87.0% greens in regulation (3rd), 57.1% scrambling (19th), 1.72 putts per GIR (11th).
  • 2011, Barry Lane (-14). 268 yards (7th), 83.3% fairways (14th), 77.8% greens in regulation (13th), 66.7% scrambling (19th), 1.64 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2010, Barry Lane (-4). 293 yards (11th), 59.5% fairways (58th), 75.9% greens in regulation (3rd), 53.8% scrambling (9th), 1.80 putts per GIR (10th).
  • 2009, Glenn Ralph (-8). 265 yards (10th), 88.1% fairways (8th), 81.5% greens in regulation (8th), 60.0% scrambling (13th), 1.77 putts per GIR (7th).

When the elements close in around these parts it’s clear that Fairmont can be a formidable test – Mark Davis in 2014 and Barry Lane in 2010 were the only players under par (3 rounds) when winning their respective events. In calmer conditions Anders Forsbrand got to 17-under through 54 holes and Barry Lane defended in 2011 at 14-under, so clearly the course is only as difficult as conditions dictate.

All 6 winners detailed above sat inside the top-20 for Scrambling on the week and 5 of the 6 winners ranked 11th or better for putting average, with the outlier being Santiago Luna who was 24th.

SG Stats. With such low-scoring affairs here at Fairmont, it’s no real surprise to see the eventual winners excelling in most Strokes Gained categories, with SG Off the Tee seemingly the least important:

  • 2021: Grant Forrest: T: 17th ; A: 5th; T2G: 2nd ; ATG: 6th; P: 11th
  • 2020: Adrian Otaegui: T: 22nd; A: 1st; T2G: 1st; ATG: 5th; P: 6th

Key: T: SG Off the Tee; A; SG Approach; T2G: SG Tee to Green; ATG: SG Around the Green; P: SG Putting.

If you look at the players closest to our eventual 2 winners from both renewals, SG Tee to Green and SG Putting would appear to be the most important factors here, followed by SG Approach.

Incoming Form: Neither of our Fairmont winners over the past 2 seasons could boast what you’d class as sparkling form, and both men missed the cut the previous week. Forrest’s 4th at the Irish Open a month before was his best result of the season though and Otaegui’s distant 2nd to Andy Sullivan at the English Championship 7 starts prior was also a good pointer at another low-scoring affair:

  • 2021: Grant Forrest: 19/33/MC/61/MC/33/23/MC/55/4/73/MC
  • 2020: Adrian Otaegui: 38/30/MC/35/MC/2/14/37/17/MC/42/MC

So, boiling it all down, this short track would seem to neither favour nor hinder players based on their length from off the tee. Gaining strokes from tee to green combined with a strong putting week would appear to be the combination that could lead us to a winner.

Links(y) tracks appeal to some players more than others, plus the moderate breeze helps us to narrow the field. Fescue/Bentgrass-based greens are also a more common feature of this type of course than inland tracks and also suggest that those who’ve played well on similar setups may be more comfortable here.

My final selections are as follows:

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