3M Open Preview and Picks

3M Open Preview and Picks

TPC Twin Cities is the venue for this week’s 3M Open. An Arnold Palmer designed par 71 layout measuring 7,468 yards.

The course boasts 27 water hazards but is generally viewed as a fairly easy course to navigate. The course has hosted Champions Tour events since 1993 and regularly ranks as amongst one of the easiest courses on that tour.

Average scores of 69.28 show that it is possible to go low here – TPC courses tend to cater to the amateur player who wishes to play the same courses as professionals. 

Nine of the 11 par four holes are sub 470 yards and the three par fives are reachable in two for all the big hitters. The par three holes at TPC Twin Cities are arguably the hardest element of the layout. 

With wide fairways, fewer bunkers than usual and large green complexes to take aim at, expect platers to go low in Minnesota this week. Winning totals on the senior tour over the years have regularly been around the -20 mark, with Wolff’s winning total of -21 enough to take the honors last year. 

The Field

Last year Matthew Wolff scored his breakout win, finishing on -21 and ahead of Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Clearly – all three of those players have gone on to big things since – regularly featuring on leaderboards since the Tour’s resumption. 

With this event scheduled to be the first PGA event after The Open, had that major not been cancelled – and with a WGC event and the rearranged USPGA on the horizon – the field this week is nowhere near as strong as we have been used to over recent weeks. 

Matthew Wolff returns, and is joined by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood. Tony Finau will be hoping for a better week here in Minnesota. Bubba Watson and Paul Casey also feature. The remainder of the field this week is nowhere near as strong as that of recent weeks. 

Selections

With a winning score of -21 last year – you would think this event requires a hot putter, however – that is not the case. With the course playing soft, and with so many water hazards and strangely placed bunkers featuring – the key to success here is ball striking tee-to-green. Scrambling and putting are not as important as usual round here. 

The best-ranked strokes gained tee-to-green players since the restart are Russell Henley and Lucas Glover, with Dustin Johnson third.

Glover also features in the top ten for strokes gained total and strokes gained putting. He stands out as being someone who could contend here this week.

Despite a fourth-round 78 last week, Glover finished T38 overall. An opening round 68, followed by rounds of 72 and 74 showed that he is in decent form. All players found Muirfield Village to be a brutal test on Sunday, so the 78 can be overlooked. 

Available to back at 25-1, Lucas Glover is an interesting contender this week. In a field featuring only two of the current world top 10 he could take advantage of the weaker field and contend. 

The second selection this week is the previously mentioned Russell Henley. The Georgia native has shown himself to be a player who has performed well art TPC courses.

Top 20 finishes at TPC Scottsdale in 2019 and 2017 translate well to Twin Cities. 11th and 6th place finishes at TPC River Highlands (2015 and 2018) also read well this week. 

Although Henley missed the cut here last year, he has experienced the layout and comes into this week’s event in much better form. Last year he was in the middle of a four-event missed-cut run when failing to make the weekend here. Compare that to his recent form of 17, 8, MC, 32, 7 and it is clear that his game is in a far better place this year. 

Russell Henley is available to back at 33-1 this week and that price looks to be too large in a field that only contains a handful of the world top ten.

Despite not winning since 2017 (Houston Open), Henley has shown that he can make his presence felt in weaker field events. 

Conclusion

A weak field has been assembled this week in Minnesota.

The 3M Open is the victim of the new look PGA Tour season, with a WGC and USPGA taking place over the next two weeks. As such, most of the top players are sitting this one out – leaving it open to a lesser name to grab the win.

Both Lucas Glover and Russell Henley are players who fit the mould of the likely winner here. Each man comes into this on the back of recent positive showings and both are of interest this week. 


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