Most of the world’s top players will be taking this week off after returning from the Open Championship at Royal Loverpool. However, there are still some notable names at the top of the 3M Open odds board with defending champ Tony Finau and former Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama scheduled to tee it up in Minnesota this week. WagerTalk golf handicapper Andy Lang shares his thoughts on the field with betting tips, DFS recommendations and players to avoid.
TPC Twin Cities
TPC Twin Cities is a pretty wide open course with wide fairways, and quite a bit of water as 15 holes have water in play. The last few years there has been wind of 25+ miles per hour, but guys still had no problem putting up plenty of birdies. It’s pretty flat, plays at 7,400 yards at par 71, and while it does have bunkers on the fairway and greens, they aren’t that difficult. The longer hitters have won here the last two years (Tony Finau and Cameron Champ), but anyone that dials in their putter this week will have a chance at success.
- Hole 12…586 yard Par 5 – I like this driving opportunity as the fairway gets narrowed by a hazard around 300 yards, but some of the longer hitters might give it a rip trying to put the ball to the left side of the fairway or even in the rough. If they successfully hit the fairway or get a good lie, they’ll be able to go for it in two shots setting up a nice birdie or potential eagle opportunity.
- Hole 14…433 yard Par 4 – Really cool tee shot with the huge body of water on the left, so any wayward drives are going to be wet, and if players get too cute going to the right, they’ll be in big bunkers or the rough. If they hit the fairway, it’s an easy approach, but wayward drives can be harshly penalized.
- Hole 17…200 yard Par 3 – The pin placements can be great on this green as water protects the hole in front from right to left. If the pin is near the front of the green, aggressive tee shots will be high risk/high reward.
3M Open Field
Top-10 in Total Strokes Gained over the last three months:
1. Emiliano Grillo
2. Sepp Straka
3. Hideki Matsuyama
4. Ryan Fox
5. Eric Cole
6. Ludvig Aberg
7. Mark Hubbard
8. Sungjae Im
9. Vincent Norrman
10. Aaron Rai
3M Open Players to Avoid
Tony Finau – The defending champion will be a popular choice to bet on this week, but I’ll be steering clear. Finau’s game has been bad recently, and it’s not been good the entire year, really. He’s missed the cut in three out of the last six tournaments he’s played in, and has no top-30 finishes in those six. His putting has been terrible as he’s -0.51 Total Strokes Gained over the last three months, and while he had a hot putter last year, I haven’t seen any indication that he’ll be putting great this week. He’ll have to finish top-three to return value, I’ll pass.
Hideki Matsuyama – He’s priced as a top-four golfer this week, but he only has one top-five finish in his last 25 tournaments. His putting is bad as he’s -0.09 Strokes Gained putting this year which has always been his Achilles heel, but it’s taking away from how good his tee to green game is. He’ll probably have a solid week, but with his putting woes, it’s going to be hard to go really low. He finished seventh back here in 2019, but I’m expecting a finish outside the top-10 this week.
Akshay Bhatia – It was great to see Bhatia get emotional after winning the Barracuda last week as the 21-year-old got a big pay day, and I think people will look at him finishing first and ninth the last two weeks, but those were at the Barracuda and Barbasol. Before that he finished 35th, missed the cut, 68th, missed the cut, 56th, 43rd and this week is a classic let-down spot after getting a win. For the year he’s only +0.32 Total Strokes Gained and he’s a horrid -0.51 Strokes Gained putting.
3M Open DFS Darlings
MJ Daffue ($7,100) – He hasn’t been great all year, but he’s finished 34th, 16th, 35th and 24th the last four weeks. His approach numbers are bad, but he hits the ball a mile and he’s +0.85 putting the last 30 days. Long drives and great putting is a nice combination for this course.
Chez Reavie ($7,300) – He’s +0.68 approach and +0.47 putting the last three months making eight-straight cuts. He’s finished 49th and 11th the last two years so he gives us a great chance at weekend points with some upside.
Eric Cole ($7,800) – I’m glad he took a week off last week as he had played 13 out of 14 weeks and his last two finishes of 42nd and 60th I thought were signs he needed a week off. Solid numbers in all the categories over three months, I see a solid finish from him this week.
Rest Of Lineup: Nicolai Hojgaard ($7,900); Sepp Straka ($9,500); and Sungjae Im ($10,300)
3M Open Betting Notes
- Cameron Davis has three top-30 finishes the last three years here.
- There is only one golfer in the field to have three top-6 finishes in his last three tournaments: Lucas Glover.
- Ryan Fox has the second-longest driving distance in this field and is +0.41 putting the last 30 days. He has made the cut in six-straight PGA Tour events and four-straight DP European Tour events.