One of the weakest fields of the season winds up that way because of a lack of depth. The 3M Open has some name value with Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Tony Finau, and Patrick Reed, but a distinct lack of second and third-tier players leaves us with one of the weaker events by Official World Golf Ranking standards for this weekend at TPC Twin Cities.
This is only the third installment of the 3M Open, an event that features a prize pool of just $6.6 million and immediately follows The Open Championship. That doesn’t bring out a lot of big names, but there are some recent winners, major winners, and some other players with accolades to make this an interesting event.
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3M Open Betting Odds & Field
Dustin Johnson is far and away the favorite this week at +750 after a pretty solid showing across the pond in the British Open. Louis Oosthuizen had an awful final round at Royal St. George’s, but he is +1400 this week alongside Tony Finau, who had another high finish in a major last week. Patrick Reed is +1800 to round out the short prices.
Robert MacIntyre, who played well at the Open Championship and was in one of the final groups on Sunday, will come back stateside to take his crack at this event at +2800. Cameron Tringale, 2019 winner Matthew Wolff, Sergio Garcia, Barbasol champ Seamus Power, and European Tour stalwart Lucas Herbert make up the guys priced below 40/1.
Other notables include Rickie Fowler, Emiliano Grillo, Cameron Champ, and Bubba Watson, who will be out of his COVID isolation by the first round on Thursday.
TPC Twin Cities Notes
This is a rather long par 71 track that comes in over 7,400 yards. The greens will be sitting around 12 to 12.5 on the stimpmeter with a bentgrass putting surface. This course is built on sand, but it is not like a links course. There are a lot more trees and the fairways are flatter. We’ll also seen much shorter, thinner rough than what the players dealt with last week.
The winning score for Matthew Wolff in 2019 was 21-under and we saw Michael Thompson come in at 19-under last year, so low numbers can be posted here, even though we’ll be short a par 5 with that par of 71.
This is a Tom Lehman re-design and a lush, green track with a lot of rainy weather of late across the Great Lakes region. The greens come in all shapes and sizes and are well-protected by hazards. Fourteen holes have some kind of water. Several golf analysts compare the course to PGA National, but easier.
As a result, SG: Approach has been far and away the most important metric here.
Third Time’s A Charm?
This is the third year of the 3M Open. There were no repeat top-10 finishers from 2019 to 2020, but we do have some guys that are playing here for the third time. One of them is Dylan Fritelli, who was 46th in 2019 and 18th in 2020. Another is Tony Finau, who was 23rd in 2019 and third in 2020. Finau was among the tournament leaders in SG: T2G last year. If he putts the ball better with similar SG numbers this time around, he’ll have a great shot.
Cameron Tringale went from 42nd in 2019 to third in 2020 with an outstanding performance here last year. That is why he has one of the shorter prices at +3000.
Ryan Moore was 12th here last year after missing the cut in 2019. Sepp Straka was 18th last year after missing the cut in 2019 as well. Adam Long was second here in 2020 after a MC in 2019.
Charles Howell III was 23rd in 2019 and third in 2020, so he has two fine data points at this course.
Yay or Neigh?
We only have two years of data for our Horse for Course section. Along with the names listed above, here are a few others to think about.
Matthew Wolff won in 2019 and was 12th here last year. Wolff has not been in good form lately and has been taking some time to focus on his mental well-being, so we’ll see how he plays here this week.
Emiliano Grillo did not play in 2019, but was third last year. Max Homa was also third last year after a MDF in 2019. Nine players actually tied for third last year, three shots behind the winner, Michael Thompson. Adam Long had a solo second at 17-under.
Alex Noren, Charl Schwartzel, Robby Shelton, Richy Werenski, and Finau were the others that finished T-3rd.
A lot of the top-10 finishers from two years ago are not here. Wolff is as the inaugural champ. Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa tied for second and are not on hand. Carlos Ortiz is also not in the field. Brian Harman withdrew on Monday.
Top-10 finishes from 2019 that are here include recent winner Lucas Glover, Adam Hadwin, who finished fourth in 2019 and is 100/1, and Troy Merritt.
Cameron Davis won the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week and a lot of the players that did well in that event had success on this course in 2019, so there could be a bit of a correlation there. Guys like Alex Noren and Troy Merritt are the ones that stand out the most.
Lucas Glover, who won the John Deere Classic, was seventh here two years ago, so he looks to be a solid player going into the weekend. Brandon Hagy has a couple top-20 finishes lately and Luke List has had back-to-back top-five outcomes. Hank Lebioda has three straight top-eight finishes.
Brian Stuard has a couple top-15s in a row, while Patrick Rodgers has a couple top-25 results. Bubba Watson was sixth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Lucas Herbert has a recent European Tour win.
Seamus Power might be the recent form king this week with six straight top-20 finishes, including last week’s Barbasol Championship win. He has three straight top-10 finishes. It would either be Power or Louis Oosthuizen, who has two runners-up and a third from The Open on his recent resume.
3M Open Picks
This is a wide-open tournament. You certainly wonder about players coming back from a week or two in Europe. You wonder about the depressed prices on recent form guys that may just be in a good cycle. You wonder about a lot in a field like this.
You can take some big swings here, like a Matthew NeSmith at 175/1 as a top-10 player in SG: Approach this season. Only Keegan Bradley ranks higher in SG: APP among the players in the field this week.
Emiliano Grillo is 12th in SG: Approach and looks like a safer play, albeit at a lower number at +4000.
Jhonattan Vegas has really done well striking the ball. The putter hasn’t quite been there, but he has good length and three top-11 finishes in his last five starts. He is another look at +6600.
Coverage of the 3M Open will be on Golf Channel and CBS this weekend.
BETTING ODDS FOR THE 2021 3M OPEN
|ERIK VAN ROOYEN||+10000|
|RAFA CABRERA BELLO||+15000|
|BYEONG HUN AN||+16000|
|M J DAFFUE||+30000|
|BO VAN PELT||+30000|