The PGA Tour season continues this week as we head to Minnesota for the 3M Open, a tournament which is pretty important for a lot of players who are yet to secure their playing rights for next season and don’t have many more chance to do so.
Courtesy of winning last year, Michael Thompson has no such issues. His mind will be firmly focused on making a successful defence of the title but a sneaky decent field has been assembled to attempt to deny him that feat.
2020 – Michael Thompson
2019 – Matthew Wolff
We are back at TPC Twin Cities this week, the course which has been used in all three runnings of this tournament now. The course has had a little bit of work done to it prior to last year’s renewal but remains the same for this year. It is a par 71 which stretches to 7,431 yards so it is a bit of a monster where the longer hitters can have their way as is becoming the norm on the PGA Tour these days. There are some drivable holes around here which will see their eyes light up.
The first year Wolff pounded the driver around here and holed almost everything whereas Michael Thompson picked his way around the course last year but again he holed everything. Whatever else you look for around here it is imperative to take a hot putter as this is sure to be a low scoring week. Length is going to be a big thing around here so keep an eye out for the longer hitters who can get it rolling with the putter.
Given where this tournament falls in the calendar it was always going to be difficult to attract many of the elite players. Some have the Olympics next week while others will be fatigued after The Open last week. Then there is the play-offs coming up so this is a week that many could afford to miss. Dustin Johnson hasn’t done that though. He committed to the tournament and he is here to compete as is the man who led for so long last week in Louis Oosthuizen.
Both the past winners are here in the field this week in Matthew Wolff and the defending champion Michael Thompson while former Masters winners Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson are also in the field this week. Robert MacIntyre and Sergio Garcia spearhead the European challenge while the likes of Tony Finau, Cameron Tringale, Keegan Bradley and Emiliano Grillo will be hoping this is the week to kick their career back to a whole new level.
Dustin Johnson is inevitably the favourite to win the tournament this week at 15/2, half the price of anyone else in the field but I’m not so certain he is twice as likely to win the tournament as anyone else. We saw a microscope of his game last week when he looked like he was stalking the leaders menacingly at halfway and then bombed out in the third round and that is more than enough of a concern for me to leave him alone at this price.
Louis Oosthuizen is a 16/1 second favourite to win this week but after the heartache of last week I can’t be going anywhere near him. He still hasn’t won a PGA Tour event in America either so I’m in no rush to get involved at 16s. Tony Finau is also 16/1 and while he has the skills to go pretty well here he seems to wilt when the winning line arrives. He was third here last year which might be significant but he’s still too short for me. If he wins so be it but I could do without the heartache for a 16/1 poke.
Patrick Reed is the only other man in the betting who is shorter than 30/1. The former Masters winner is 20/1 to win the tournament this week but I think he’s better on tracks where there is a little bit more of a toughness to them than this one. Reed was quite ordinary at The Open last week and I wasn’t convinced he was near the top of his game heading in there. I certainly don’t think he is now so he isn’t for me either. It is 30/1 bar.
Cameron Davis won a couple of tournaments ago when he took down the Rocket Mortgage Classic and I think he’s had enough time to come down from that and go again here. We’ve seen a few repeat winners this season and there is no reason why in a field where the main runners all have doubts over them why someone like Davis can’t go in again. He belts it a long way so he should be able to go pin hunting. His putting has been on song in recent times as well and he might well be overpriced at 40/1.
Hank Lebioda is another who has been prominent on leaderboards in recent times and I do believe form is going to be a big thing this week. His last seven outings have yielded results of 13-51-17-31-5-4-8 so he is a man in form at the minute. He has ranked in the top six in strokes gained putting in his last three events and is certainly not shabby with the irons either. He hasn’t done a whole lot wrong in defeat in recent times and as we saw with Seamus Power if you knock at the door hard enough it will eventually open. It could well open for Lebioda here.
I’ll go with a couple of outsiders as well this week with the first of them being Bo Hoag who caught my eye at The Memorial a few weeks ago and then reminded me last week that he is on my list of ones to watch. Everything apart from his putter worked very well at the Barbasol last week and even though he ranked 60 for strokes gained putting he still managed to finish T11. He only needs to tighten up with the short stick and he has all the tools to be right there in a tournament like this. There is enough juice in his price to have a go on him this week.
Wyndham Clark is another big hitter who can get the ball out there and although he has missed his last three cuts I fancy him to go well here. Those three cuts were at Muirfield Village, Torrey Pines and River Highlands so three pretty tough tracks and he is better on courses where his length comes into play and he has a big of freedom off the tee. That is exactly what he has here so it is no surprise to me that he finished fifth here a couple of years ago. As long as those three missed cuts haven’t destroyed his confidence he could well outrun his price here.
Back C.Davis to win 3M Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Betfred (1/5 1-7)
Back H.Lebioda to win 3M Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)
Back B.Hoag to win 3M Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-8)
Back W.Clark to win 3M Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-8)
Back them here: