It’s finally time for the 3M Open. Yes, the famous tournament in Minnesota (TPC Twin Cities) that follows the Open each year since 2019 is finally here again.
In all seriousness, I forget about this tournament every year. It used to be the 3M Championship, a tour champions event, from 1993-2018. Eventually, they bailed on the tour champions requirement and just settled on it being an open (wise choice). The only problem for the tournament, other than getting notable players to play there, was the venue and timing.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 21, 2021
In years past, Minnesota would appear to be a good location for a late July tournament. However, it seems not so much this year, as temperatures are expected to hit 98 degrees during the tournament.
Last week we shifted towards a more aggressive strategy, but only one cash came through, per the recent luck we’ve had. We had Spieth, Rahm, and Oosthuizen in the 2,3,4 finishing spots, and yet we still only cashed with Louis at +500 T-5.
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It’s fitting that the week we changed our approach, we would’ve benefitted much more by playing our usual Top 5 picks. Spieth was +1400 to win, Rahm was +700, and Oosthuizen was mentioned as an option to win at +3500.
All that being said, it was hard to watch the final round unfold like it did. Collin Morikawa was so good and yet so lucky at the same time. We saw Spieth hit the middle of the fairway on one hole and the ball bounce clear onto the first cut.
On the contrary, we saw Morikawa drive it into the first cut and the ball roll back onto the fairway. It all worked out so well for Morikawa and the lesson I need to take from this is, pick the guy with the same name as me.
The 3M Open course
TPC Twin Cities is a long course, which should really benefit long-hitters and guys with strong birdie percentages. It’s a course designed by Arnold Palmer in 2000 featuring elevated greens, bentgrass, and picturesque wetlands.
It’s a good mix of sand hazards on some holes and water hazards on others. Driving accuracy will be critical for those trying to stay in contention, but a strong Birdie Average will certainly be critical on such a lengthy course.
This week, we have a nice opportunity to make up some ground by taking some of the lesser-known Top-100 players in a fairly weak overall field. In tournaments like this, it’s easy to go through and just take the best guys with the thought, “well, one of these guys is going to probably win it.” You’d be dead wrong.
The last winner of this tournament was Michael Thompson, with Adam Long finishing second. This is the time to get some value on the middle tier of the Top 100.
- Strokes Gained: Total
- Driving Accuracy
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
- Recent form
- Birdie/ Eagle percentage
Good luck this week as we take a look at the odds from the DraftKings Online Sportsbook.
Middle of the Fairway – One Player to finish in the top 40
Kyle Stanley +110
Kyle Stanley finished 32nd here (2020) in his only time playing at TPC Twin Cities. Stanley has two wins on his resume over his eleven-year career, but we aren’t really aiming that high this week.
Stanley is 37th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, 57th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, 32nd in Driving Accuracy, 13th in GIRP, and 24th in Strokes Gained: Approach. He’s no certainty this week, but he’s demonstrated proficiency on this course and is fresh off eight straight Top-55 finishes.
Just Outside the Green – One Player to finish in the top 20
Doug Ghim +230
Doug Ghim hasn’t put together consecutive Top-20 finishes since November. Despite not being the kind of consistent player who may be more suited for our weekly card, we like his upside this week. Ghim is from Illinois (close enough) and finished 18th at this event last year.
He improved his score each day as the tournament progressed in last year’s 3M and that’s the kind of trend we can get behind. From an advanced stats perspective, Ghim is 33rd in Birdie Average, 29th in Driving Accuracy, 11th in GIRP, 25th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and 16th in Strokes Gained: Approach.
On the Green – One player to finish in the top 10
Patton Kizzire +500
Patton Kizzire might be the definition of a good, under-the-radar golfer. He’s 49th in the FedEx Cup standings this season, but offers some upside from a potency outlook. Patton has seven Top-11 finishes in 25 events this season.
He makes up much of the ground in the standings feasting on smaller venue events such as this. He also has some favorable metrics. The only real concern here is his Driving Accuracy and Sand Save Percentage.
It tends to help when at least one of those is good, but it’s not the case for Patton. He ranks 15th in Birdie Average, 37th in GIRP, and 50th in Strokes Gained: Total.
Eagle Opportunity – Three Players to finish in the top five
Louis Oosthuizen +200
Oosthuizen is a machine this season, especially when we consider his age. The 38-year-old South African is on a heater lately, finishing in the Top-10 in five of his last six and Top-5 in four of his last six. The catch here is that Louis has never played at TPC Twin Cities before. Aside from that, he’s pretty much incredible all the way around.
With a Sand Save Percentage ranking in the Top-30, Strokes Gained: Putting 1st overall, and Strokes Gained: Approach 10th on tour, Louis should be able to make up for any mistakes off the tee this week.
Dustin Johnson +170
DJ kind of dropped off the face of the earth for a while. Fortunately, he has since risen from the ashes and finished inside the Top-25 in each of the last four tournaments he’s played (US Open and The Open included).
He may be the only guy on our card who could make up strokes off the tee and not closing out with his short game. DJ is 7th on tour in Driving Distance, 2nd in Scoring Average, 17th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, and 17th in Strokes Gained: Total.
Emiliano Grillo +600
The young Argentine golfer has made some waves this season, securing Top-10 finishes in four events. This week, Grillo will look for a breakthrough finish at the 3M Open, following a strong 12th place finish at the Open.
Last year, Grillo finished 3rd at this event, so he’s proven he can have the kind of form here to potentially win. Grillo is 12th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 5th in GIRP, 28th in Birdie Average, and 33rd in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.