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Blog3M Open Preview and Picks

Dell Technologies Championship

July 4th – 7th, 2019

TPC Twin Cities

Blaine, Minnesota

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,468

Purse: $6.4 million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
First year event

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 29 of the top 100 and 9 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings: #1 Brooks Koepka, #8 Bryson DeChambeau, #17 Tony Finau, #18 Jason Day, #25 Patrick Reed, #28 Phil Mickelson, #29 Keegan Bradley, #31 Hideki Matsuyama and #32 Kevin Na.

The field includes 6 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are #2 Brooks Koepka, #14 Charles Howell III, #18 Tony Finau, #22 Sung Kang, #24 Scott Piercy and #25 Bryson DeChambeau.

This is the first time this event is being played so there is no history of this place and the course, TPC Twin Cities has never hosted a PGA Tour event.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the 3M Open

Player Rocket Mortgage Travelers Champ. U.S. Open RBC Canadian Open Memorial Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas
Brooks Koepka
(391.33 pts)
DNP T57
(0)
2
(200)
T50
(0.67)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
4
(26.67)
DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(241.33 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP T43
(14)
DNP T27
(15.33)
T6
(40)
DNP T5
(23.33)
T18
(10.67)
T3
(30)
T10
(13.33)
DNP T36
(4.67)
Hideki Matsuyama
(185 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP T21
(58)
DNP 6
(40)
DNP T16
(22.67)
T23
(9)
T31
(6.33)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP
Nate Lashley
(174.67 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP T28
(44)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 69
(0)
DNP T29
(7)
T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jason Day
(171.33 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
T21
(58)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP T24
(8.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP
Joaquin Niemann
(171.33 pts)
T5
(70)
T5
(70)
DNP T31
(12.67)
T27
(15.33)
T31
(12.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Streelman
(154.33 pts)
T35
(15)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
DNP 6
(20)
Cameron Tringale
(136 pts)
T5
(70)
T71
(0)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
Patrick Reed
(132.67 pts)
T5
(70)
T30
(20)
T32
(36)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T63
(0)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP
Viktor Hovland
(125 pts)
T13
(37)
T54
(0)
T12
(76)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP
Peter Malnati
(114.33 pts)
T29
(21)
T30
(20)
DNP T31
(12.67)
T17
(22)
T40
(6.67)
DNP T72
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(15)
T16
(11.33)
DNP T23
(9)
Doc Redman
(110.67 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Wes Roach
(102.67 pts)
T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Sungjae Im
(98.67 pts)
T21
(29)
T21
(29)
DNP 7
(36.67)
T57
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
83
(0)
T31
(6.33)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T20
(10)
Keegan Bradley
(97.33 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
CUT
(-20)
T44
(4)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
36
(4.67)
DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP
Bryson DeChambeau
(96 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
T35
(30)
DNP T22
(18.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(14)
DNP
Scott Piercy
(95.67 pts)
DNP DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T19
(20.67)
T41
(6)
T2
(33.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)
T3
(30)
DNP DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(89 pts)
T21
(29)
T51
(0)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
T63
(0)
DNP T42
(2.67)
Zack Sucher
(88.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(5)
T50
(0.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Alex Prugh
(86.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
20
(30)
T21
(58)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
T31
(6.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Na
(82.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
CUT
(-6.67)
T35
(5)
DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T46
(2.67)
DNP
Nick Watney
(80.67 pts)
T46
(4)
T30
(20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T22
(18.67)
T8
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T31
(6.33)
T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jason Dufner
(80 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T35
(30)
DNP T7
(36.67)
T40
(6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP
Tony Finau
(73.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
2
(66.67)
T64
(0)
DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T61
(0)
Jimmy Walker
(72 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-20)
T35
(10)
DNP T19
(20.67)
T23
(18)
CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
T30
(6.67)
Sepp Straka
(70 pts)
T11
(39)
CUT
(-10)
T28
(44)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jonas Blixt
(68.33 pts)
T29
(21)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T30
(6.67)
Collin Morikawa
(68 pts)
DNP T36
(14)
T35
(30)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
J.J. Spaun
(67.67 pts)
T13
(37)
T30
(20)
DNP T44
(4)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T54
(0)
T59
(0)
DNP T22
(9.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Max Homa
(65.33 pts)
T42
(8)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T37
(8.67)
T27
(15.33)
T64
(0)
DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
Ted Potter, Jr.
(63.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP 73
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T67
(0)
DNP T77
(0)
Ryan Moore
(62.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T69
(0)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
DNP 3
(30)
Charley Hoffman
(62 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T13
(24.67)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
T45
(1.67)
T29
(14)
2
(33.33)
Adam Hadwin
(61 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 6
(40)
T52
(0)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP T38
(4)
T13
(12.33)
T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP
Sung Kang
(60 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T78
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 7
(36.67)
Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the 3M Open

Player Rocket Mortgage Travelers Champ. U.S. Open RBC Canadian Open Memorial Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters Valero Texas
Michael Kim
(-56.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(-46.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T69
(0)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DQ
(-1.67)
DNP T36
(4.67)
Whee Kim
(-45.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Martin Trainer
(-45 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP 66
(0)
Sam Saunders
(-44 pts)
CUT
(-10)
70
(0)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T42
(2.67)
Patton Kizzire
(-40.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(1.67)
T18
(21.33)
DNP
Julian Etulain
(-35.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
68
(0)
T32
(6)
DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
Adam Svensson
(-34 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
John Chin
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rod Pampling
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T35
(10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Last week we talked a bit about how important the Rocket Mortgage Classic was to the state of Michigan and Detroit.  Have to say it turned out great, the course was superb and guaranteed to get more marquee names for next year.  As I said in my preview, in picking a winner just look at those that you would never think would win and yes Nate Lashley proved my point.  For the 36-year-old journeyman, who has seen his share of hardship including losing his parents and girlfriend to a plane crash.  He struggled with life after that ordeal when he was just 21 years old.  Then when he got his game in shape and won the 2017 Corales Puntacana Resort Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour (yes it’s no longer the Web.Com Tour).  He finished 2017 11th on the money list and earned a PGA Tour card for 2018.  But midway through his season the meniscus which he tore the year previously got so bad that in June he needed surgery and shut things down for the rest of the year.  He came back at the Safeway Open and was able to play, got his first top-ten of his career with a T-8th at Puerto Rico, but after his missed the cut at the Corales Puntacana his medical extension had run out and it was tough for Lashley to get into events.  Things got so bad that he was forced to Monday qualify, he failed to get into the Rocket Mortgage through Monday qualifying and only with David Berganio, Jr. withdrawing on Wednesday was able to get the last spot.  And just like that it was history, the person that we least expected to win not only did that but won by an impressive 6 shots.

With the victory, Lashley’s life completely changes.  He now has a guaranteed spot for two years on the PGA TOur and will enjoy the first perk of winning next month, playing in the British Open.  For next year he will play in Kapalua in January and Augusta in April but the most important element will be doing his schedule the way he wants to play.  It’s funny on the PGA Tour how fast you can go from heartbreak of missing a Monday qualifier and a week later being a champion on the PGA Tour.

But that brings up a valid point, you never know from week to week who will win and especially on a new course in a new tournament something like this happens.  There is nobody on this planet, including Lashley that could of predicted what was going to happen.

We could have the same thing happen again this week as for a second week in a row the PGA Tour is playing in a brand new tournament on a course that has never held a PGA Tour event on.  It’s the 3M Open and it will be played at the TPC Twin Cities course in Blaine, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  Will say one   Will say one thing about the 3M Open, players will love it.  One of the big reasons is the person that runs the event, Hollis Cavner.  In the early 80s when I worked for ABC Sports I ran into Cavner who was started his career as a runner.  You could tell his career was not as a producer or a director, but Cavner was very friendly and learned how to take care of people’s needs and he was a very organized person.  After a year or two, Cavner realized TV production was not his future and got involved with a management group.  Ten years later Cavner was making a name for himself as players would rave at how well Cavner events were done.  Cavner’s big baby was the 3M Championship and you ask any Champions Tour player, 95% would point out how well run the 3M Championship was, thanks to Hollis Cavner.  He was responsible for the switch from the PGA Tour Champions to the PGA Tour and I can guarantee that players and anyone associated with the PGA Tour will say that the 3M Open will be the best run event on the PGA Tour schedule.  So a shout-out to Cavner, good luck to you this week.

Course information:
  • TPC Twin Cities
  • Blaine, Minnesota.
  • 7,468 yards     Par 35-36–71

For the 2nd straight week, the PGA Tour is staging a new tournament.  Last week the Rocket Mortgage went to a course that had never seen a professional tournament.  The big difference this week is that TPC Twin Cities, site of the 3M Open, has been the home of the PGA Tour Champions 3M Championship since 2001.  So there is a lot of history that can point us in certain directions.  Like the importance of not only hitting greens but getting the ball close.  The greens are 6,500 square feet which are a bit small, but very manageable.  Players won’t find as many undulations on the greens as they saw at Detroit Golf Club, but they aren’t flat and do have breaks. But on the whole good putters will love TPC Twin Cities.

Off the tee, the course will rely on a combination of lakes (10 in total will be in play off the tee), bunkers (14 in total) and rough.  Five of the holes have sharp doglegs which players will have to lay back so that they don’t run out of fairway, but still, long hitters will have there way with the course since the bluegrass fescue won’t be a problem for players.  There is a total of 72 bunkers on the course with 39 of them guarding the greens.

The big question will be if the players on the PGA Tour will continue the traditions that the seniors experienced and that is tearing the course apart.  In the last 12 years that the seniors played the course, the average winning score was 19 and a half under par, and that was in tournaments that were only 54 holes.  In 2010 David Frost won with scores of 64-66-61 for a 25 under par total.  Now the Arnold Palmer design course played at 7,114 yards and a par 72 for the seniors, but tournament officials have made some serious changes over the last year.  Not only has 354 yards been added to the course so that it will play at 7,468 yards but par has been reduced to 71.  Still for the longest hitters in the world, this won’t present any problems.  Another thing that tournament officials are doing, holes 7, 10 and 16 have tees so that the holes could play between 280 and 315 yards making them drivable, but the holes are well guarded by water so they won’t be automatic birdie holes.  The three par 5s will play over 590 yards, so the will not be automatic birdie holes.

As we said last week, since the course will be new to most players, nobody has an advantage of local knowledge so that tends to help those that haven’t won much.  I also said that the winner would be the player you least expected and that turned out to be so true as Nate Lashley, an alternate that didn’t get into the field until Wednesday won for the first time.

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Brooks Koepka – $11,900
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $11,100
  • Jason Day – $10,900
  • Bryson DeChambeau – $10,500
  • Patrick Reed – $10,000
  • Rory Sabbatini – $9,500
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,300
  • Tony Finau – $9.200
  • Voktor Hovland – $9,100
  • Sungjae Im – $9,000

Again I can’t stress any more the fact that the player who will win will be the player you least expect to win.  Yes, Brooks Koepka is the best player in the world, but Nate Lashley was able to get it together and win for the first time on the PGA Tour.  For Lashley, who began the week 353 in the Official World Golf Rankings, he climbed to 101st.  Could this happen this week?  Who knows, in looking through the world rankings Sangmoon Bae is 353rd in the rankings, he missed the cut last week at the Rocket Mortgage, but could he be the man this week?  Or how about Sam Saunders, we all know him the grandson of Arnold Palmer, he is 357th in the ranking and could be primed for winning this week.  Going into the 3M Open he has made one cut out of his last seven starts, kind of reminds me of James Hahn before he won the 2016 Wells Fargo.  Going into the Fargo he had missed seven straight cuts and hadn’t broken 70 in 8 tournaments.  But Hahn got it together to tie Roberto Castro and beat him in a playoff.  Let’s go even further down the rankings, Dominic Bozzelli is 8th in Strokes Gained Putting this year and is 396 in the rankings.  He was T-59th last week in Detroit and who knows if Bozzelli is the guy that breaks out of the pack.  Or how about Cody Gribble who is 646 in the rankings.  Back in 2016 he was 448th in the rankings coming into the 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship and won that, could he do it again?  The point is anyone could win this week so it’s best to just find that winner, sounds easy right?

So what about this week?  It doesn’t surprise anyone to see Brooks Koepka at $11,900.  He is the number one ranked golfer and has won four majors in the last two years.  But is he worth the price being charged this week?  At first, I say no, last week after playing in the Travelers Championship he said that he was completely drained and burnt with golf.  Makes sense when you see that in a span of about 3 months he won a major and was runner-up in the other two.  Koepka seems to be a different player in majors, how could he win the PGA Championship, finished T-50th in his next start in Canada, then finished runner-up at the U.S. Open followed by a T-57th at the Travelers.  So could that be his faith this week, would taking him at such a high level be a waste?  I can say this, I am not going to purchase him but I can say this, no matter what if Koepka was really burnt out he wouldn’t be playing this week.  He is in this event because TPC Twin Cities is perfect for his game and he can overpower the place.  I would say the odds are 50-50 that he will give us a top-five finish this week and possibly a win.  He will also make a lot of birdies and possibly an eagle or two so I guess it’s up to you if the gamble is worth it.  Next up is Hideki Matsuyama at $11,100 and again this is a tough choice because he is very high.  He is perfect for TPC Twin Cities, he ranks 22nd in greens hit for the year and 10th in birdie average.  He played well for three rounds at the Rocket Mortgage and I can see him improving on that this week, still it’s a toss-up on if you want to take him.  Now Jason Day at $10,900 could be the winner.  This will be his third event with Steve Williams on the bag, and Jason says that Williams has already helped him.  Day hit the ball really well at the Travelers and was 1st in greens hit so I say this could be the week for Day.  As much as I like Day, can’t say the same for Bryson DeChambeau at $10,500.  Yes, he finished T-8th at the Travelers, but his problem is hitting greens, which you have to do on this course.  If you could short DeChambeau, like you short a stock on Wall Street I would say short him big time.  Patrick Reed at $10,000 is high but his game is showing improvement, still is putting especially inside six feet it dismal so it’s best not to take him.  As for Rory Sabbatini at $9,500 I just don’t see it.  Yes he was T-3rd at the Rocket Mortgage and T-5th at the Nelson and T-6th at Colonial, but it’s hard to root for Sabbatini and while many of you will take him I would say if he was $8,500 I would think about it, but $9,500 is too high.  Now the next three guys are big yes for me, first Joaquin Niemann at $9,300 is on a good run, he was T-5th at the Travelers and Rocket Mortgage, he is 28 under in those 8 rounds and I see it continuing.  Tony Finau at $9,300 is also a go for me, yes 2019 hasn’t been as good as 2018 but it’s been a year in learning.  Finau has missed three cuts in a row coming into this week but I can see him turn that around because TPC Twin Cities is perfect for his game.  I also like Voktor Hovland at $9,100, since turning pro he has played like a professional as he makes a lot of birdies and is a great putter.  Honestly, I don’t know what to say about Sungjae Im at $9,000.  He has had a great year with six top-ten finishes and he could be that surprise for this week, but I think you can do better with $9,000 than with Im.

*Players in that $7,600 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Last week I was very high on Kevin Streelman and at $8,900 he may be good for this week.  Still, I would rather take Keegan Bradley at $8,800 instead, he was T-2nd in his last start at Travelers and is a great tee to green player.  Just feel he is getting close to a win and it will happen before the season is over.  I also think that Charles Howell III at $8,400 is a good choice, he ranks 5th in green hit this year and despite him not playing well in the summer could change that at TPC Twin Cities.  Going down the list to some cheaper buys, I like Cameron Tringale at $7,700.  He is the sleeper pick of the week, has been steady all year and he qualifies as a player you least expect to win. Tringale is 20th in Greens in Regulation this year and 40th in birdie average making 3.98 per round.  Another off the wall pick is Talor Gooch at $7,600. You may find this hard to believe but not only does he rank 6th in Greens in Regulation but 12th in Birdie average. His game showed signs of improvement at Rocket Mortgage as he finished T-17th

Some of the “bargains” this week at the Travelers

Everyone in this category is a bargain, I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner can be bought for under $7,600.  One of those is Cameron Champ at $7,500.  He is perfect for TPC Twin Cities, Ranks 10th in Greens in Regulation, 14th in Par Breakers and 1st in Driving distance.  Despite finishing T-46th at Rocket Mortgage, he opened up with rounds of 66-65 so his game is coming around. Corey Conners at $7,400 is also a good buy.  Yes, he has missed the cut in his last two starts, since winning the Valero Texas has not been inside the top-30 on tour.  Despite all of that, he leads in Greens in Regulation and is 9th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee so that could carry him over.  Brendan Steele at $7,200 is also a good buy, has played solidly and could put it together this week.  Denny McCarthy at $7,100 is also a good choice, he is 1st in Strokes Gained Putting for the year.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the 3M Open:

The key stat for the winner:

  •  In looking at the seniors that played well at TPC Twin Cities during the 3M Championship, the one stat that jumped out was how those that won and finished in the top-five were high up in hitting greens.  So look for those that are on top of the PGA Tour greens in regulation list.  Here are those in the top-ten of that list that is playing this week: (1st) Corey Conners, (5th) Charles Howell III, (6th) Talor Gooch, (7th) Brooks Koepka and (10th) Cameron Champ.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • With the greens not having much undulations, good putters will do very well.  Look for those at the top of the Strokes Gained Putting to play well, here are those in the top-ten of that list that are playing this week: (1st) Denny McCarthy, (8th)  Dominic Bozzelli and (9th) Wyndham Clark.
  • Another important item in the seniors playing TPC Twin Cities was making lot’s of birdies and eagles.  Look for those players that week in and week out make a lot of birdies and eagles.  In looking at the top-ten from the Par Breakers stat only three top-ten players are in the field this week, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day.
  • As we stressed last week, this event won’t see many marquee names on top of the leaderboard.  For most of them the players you least expect to be at the top, just like Nate Lashley last week, will rule.  Still don’t eliminate all of the marquee names, some like Jason Day are looking to make this their last start before the British Open and want to get their games peaking for that championship.  The same for Brooks Koepka, even though he reported being burnt out after playing at the Travelers he has had time to charge up the batteries and should be ready to go.
  • Weather should be good this week, with temperatures going into the high 70s with just a little bit of humidity.  Possibility of Thunderstorms in the afternoon, but it should be very pleasant.

Who to watch for at the 3M Open

Best Bets:

Jason Day

This will be the third event that Jason has Steve Williams on the bag and he has helped him a lot. One of the best in hitting greens, he ranks 19th on the PGA Tour this year but in his last start at the Travelers Day led the field only missing 9 greens.

Brooks Koepka

No better course for Koepka than TPC Twin Cities, he is a ball striking machine that will 9 out of 10 times rip apart this course. Is 7th on tour in Greens in Regulation, also 8th in Fairway Proximity which judges the distance his shot to the green finishes from holes.  Lastly, Brooks needs a good performance in a non-major event, also since this is his last start before the British Open wants to feel his game is in good shape.

Joaquin Niemann

Was T-5th at the Travelers and Rocket Mortgage, he is 28 under in his last 8 rounds on tour. At the Rocket Mortgage was T-2nd in Greens in Regulation and T-5th in Fairways hit, also at his last two events he has made 39 birdies (over 144 holes).

Best of the rest:

Hideki Matsuyama

Always good from tee to green, TPC Twin Cities is perfect for his game. Was good at Rocket Mortgage until the final day, explosive in birdie average (ranks 10th) and Par Breakers (16th)

Keegan Bradley

Was T-2nd in his last start at Travelers, he is a great tee to green player, ranked 27th in Greens in Regulation.  Typically not a great putter, but the TPC Twin Cities greens will help him putt better this week.

Tony Finau

Looking to turn things around after missing his last three cuts, TPC Twin Cities is a course that will be right up his alley to play well on.

Cameron Champ

No perfect course for Champ than TPC Twin Cities. Ranks 10th in Greens in Regulation, 14th in Par Breakers and 1st in Driving distance. Despite finishing T-46th at Rocket Mortgage, he opened up with rounds of 66-65 so his game is coming around.

Solid Contenders

Voktor Hovland

Has played great the last three weeks, looking for a top-five to get his PGA Tour card for rest of year. Putting is the best part of his game, greens of TPC Twin Cities will be perfect for him, has made 37 birdies in his last two starts.

Charles Howell III

Ranks 5th in Greens in Regulation, he may fall in love with this course, Has a tendency of getting hot with the putter, that could happen on these greens.  Does not play his best in the summer, maybe the cool days of Minnesota will help him retrieve his winter/spring game.

Patrick Reed

Game is showing improvement, his T-5th at Rocket Mortgage was a good sign.  His tee to green game has improved, was T-13th in Greens in Regulation last week at Rocket Mortgage. His major weakness is putting inside six feet, needs to improve drastically with the putter.

Kevin Na

Won at Colonial with precision playing, could do it at TPC Twin Cities, normally makes lot’s of birdies and the occasional eagle

Players you least expect to play well who could win

Cameron Tringale

Sleeper pick of the week has been steady all year and he qualifies as a player you least expect to win. Is 20th in Greens in Regulation this year, is 40th in birdie average making 3.98 per round.

Corey Conners

Has missed the cut in his last two starts, since winning the Valero Texas has not been inside the top-30 on tour. Despite all of that, he leads in Greens in Regulation and is 9th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee so that could carry him over. His achilles heal has been putting, if he could find the TPC Twin Cities greens to his liking, could surprise us all

Talor Gooch

Watch him, not only does he rank 6th in Greens in Regulation but 12th in Birdie average.  His game showed signs of improvement at Rocket Mortgage as he finished T-17th

Of these favorites, you may want to avoid them

Phil Mickelson

Has really struggled with his game since the Masters. Having a tough time hitting greens as he ranks 114th this year, but he has been George of the Jungle off the tee ranking 196th in Driving accuracy.  But the key stat bringing him down is putting, has been terrible, missing a lot of putts inside five feet

Bryson DeChambeau

Showed signs of life with a T-8th at Travelers, his first top-ten since T-6th at Saudi International in February.  Still his big problem is hitting greens, he ranked 133rd and that could hurt him this week.  On top of that what has compounded his hitting greens problem is scrambling, he ranks 78th this year, also putting hasn’t been sharp, ranks 113th in putts inside 10 feet

 

 

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