PGA DFS Primer: 3M Open (2021)
The sunny shores of Dover, England, created ideal conditions at Royal St. George’s for the 149th Open Championship to be won decisively by Collin Morikawa. The 24-year old American has now finished within the top five or better in his last three tournament appearances, winning his first Open title at -15 with an incredible -6 performance on Friday that catapulted him atop the leaderboard for the final two days at the Open Championship. Louis Oosthuizen appeared to be on the verge of regaining his Open Championship title he won back in 2010, but a disappointing +1 final round resulted in a T3 (-11) finish that allowed Morikawa and Spieth (2nd/-13) to finish ahead of the 38-year old South African.
Jon Rahm overcame a +1 first round to make the cut after a fantastic -6 round on Friday to tie Morikawa. On Sunday, a couple of missed birdie opportunities were the difference in a T3 finish and a potential challenge for his second Open victory after an impressive comeback victory at Torrey Pines South during the U.S. Open last month. Brooks Koepka overcame a rough +2 in the third round and finished with a -5 on Sunday, which was the best final round of any golfer at The Open. Meanwhile, the pair of Englishmen I recommended alongside these top-five players, Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick, both finished T26 (-3) after both starting over par. Patrick Cantlay dug himself a massive hole with a 74 on Thursday that he couldn’t overcome, which led to a missed cut.
Hopefully, you took my advice and invested in any combination of Morikawa, Rahm, and Koepka in your lineups at Royal St. George’s this past weekend. It’s a much different course at TPC Twin Cities for the 3M Open in Minnesota this weekend, challenging golfers with multiple bodies of water and numerous oak, spruce, and pine trees lining fairways and flanking greens. Several golfers who were in contention late into The Open this past weekend will get their chance at redemption, most notably Louis Oosthuizen. Let’s take a look at a few golfers that I like quite a bit heading into Thursday’s opening round at TPC Twin Cities.
- 2020: Michael Thompson (-19)
- 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)
TPC Twin Cities has hosted numerous PGA events across the last two decades but officially changed the event’s name from the 3M Championship to the 3M Open in 2019. It’s a par-71, 7,431-yard course that features bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens. The oak, spruce, and pine trees line are vastly different from the windy grasslands with massive humps and bumps lining Dover, England. The course is much more gentle and lies on top of a former sod farm, creating a gorgeous venue for players and viewers alike.
No changes have been made to the course since the competitive enhancement project that yielded a more difficult course for the debut of the 3M Open two years ago. Three of the most challenging holes on the course happen in the front nine, including Hole 7, which contains a lake, a pair of sand bunkers, and an uneven green on a 381-yard par-4. Meanwhile, Hole 14 is a 437-yard dogleg-left par 4 with a body of water known as ‘Cavner’s Cove’ that forces golfers to swing along its right-hand side rather than over the top, which is a feat that can actually be obtained on the nearly 600-yard par-5 found on Hole 6.
Weather should once again not be a factor, allowing for plenty of fast putts and strong tee shots off of the soft bentgrass featured throughout TPC Twin Cities.
Relevant Betting Stats
- Greens in Regulation (GIR) percentage
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
- Driving Accuracy percentage
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
Louis Oosthuizen ($10,900)
We all witnessed the unfortunate implosion Louis Oosthuizen suffered at The Open Championship but do not let that stop you from paying up for one of the best players at the 3M Open this weekend. The 38-year old South African hasn’t finished outside of the top-20 in any event since placing T26 (+1) at The Masters over three months ago. Oosthuizen leads the Tour in strokes gained putting and ranks 10th in strokes gained around the green. Combined with phenomenal sand save percentage of 56.96 percent and the ability to generate the seventh-highest amount of eagles (11) on Tour this season, Oosthuizen should be well-positioned to eradicate the runner-up finishes that have haunted him three separate times and use his skillset to climb atop the leaderboard early at TPC Twin Cities.
Matthew Wolff ($9,700)
It hasn’t been the most memorable season for Matthew Wolff, but the 22-year old American does return to a comfortable location at TPC Twin Cities. Wolff managed to win the 3M Open debut back in 2019 with a remarkably high -21 under par and earned a T12 finish at the 3M Open last season. He is currently priced outside the top-five on DraftKings but is aggressive offensively, which leads to a flood of points in lineups throughout the weekend. Particularly, Wolff’s 3.86 birdie average per round ranks 58th, and he can crush his driver, albeit inaccurately, averaging 312.8 yards per drive. Familiarity with the course is key here. The young American did show promise with a T15 (+1 ) finish at a challenging Torrey Pines South course at the U.S. Open earlier last month, so don’t let a couple of missed cuts steer you away from Wolff. Instead, capitalize on the confidence he will have during his third appearance at the 3M Open after consecutive strong finishes in previous years.
Cameron Tringale ($9,500)
Cameron Tringale has not finished in the top ten of any event he’s competed in since the Valspar Championship back at the beginning of May, where he produced a T3 (-13) finish. The 33-year old American fared decently at The Open Championship this past weekend, finishing T26 (-3) but failed to hit under-par after making the cut at -5 after his first two rounds. However, Tringale did much better in his last outing at the 3M Open in 2020, finishing T3 (-16) which shows he will also be returning to a comfort zone amidst the rolling wetlands of Minnesota. Any time a golfer’s birdie average surpasses four per round, I’m intrigued. Such is the case for Tringale, who averages 4.11 birdies per round to rank 23rd on Tour. His elite putting ability is also shown in strokes gained putting, where he is ranked 21st. Other than being a bit shaky in strokes gained off-the-tee, Tringale is a good player to add to lineups ahead of the 2021 3M Open.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
Tony Finau ($11,500)
You’ll have to pay up for Tony Finau any time there is an Open tournament, as the 31-year old American tends to show up and dominate an Open every single time. This season on the PGA Tour, Finau has played some of the best golf throughout his career, earning eight top-ten finishes thanks to a great iron that shows up in strokes gained off-the-tee (37th), strokes gained tee-to-green (10th), and strokes gained around the green (7th). Finau finished T3 (-16) at the 3M Open last year and will produce massive chunks of points each round, thanks to averaging four birdies per round on Tour this season. Finau carries an extremely high floor and ceiling, making him worth the pricey investment in your lineups this weekend.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,900)
Emiliano Grillo recorded a -6 under-par during the second round of The Open Championship this past weekend, joining the ranks of Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm for the most impressive single-round score. Asides from the momentum the 28-year old Argentinian carries into the 3M Open, he finished T3 (-16) last year and can lean on his fifth-ranked greens in regulation percentage (71.53%) to generate birdies, which he averages around 4.03 per round. A shaky putter isn’t as concerning when a player is capable of reaching the greens with consistently strong iron play. He’s a slightly more affordable version of Tony Finau and Cameron Tringale, as all three earned a T3 finish at last year’s 3M Open.
Robert MacIntyre ($10,500)
Robert MacIntyre has quietly strung together increasingly improved outings after a poor showing at RBC Heritage (T59/+1) three months ago. The 24-year old Scot is bucking the trend he has set for taking a few weeks off per month and will instead enter the 3M Open after an impressive T8 (-7) finish at Royal St. George’s this past weekend. He is given the fifth-best odds to win at 28-1 in his debut at the 3M Open, which indicates MacIntyre could be ready to dominate the lengthy par-71 at TPC Twin Cities this weekend. Let’s not forget his T12 (-2) finish at The Masters in April, where MacIntyre overcame a shaky start and proved he’s gritty enough to win at new courses on the biggest stage of the PGA Tour.
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