After two long but exciting weeks, the PGA Tour finally moves on from Muirfield Village Golf Club this week and packs its bags for Blaine, Minnesota for the annual 3M Open. TPC Twin Cities will be the host course for the event and exciting youngster Matthew Wolff will be back to defend his title.
Once again, we have a full preview and betting tips for the weekend’s action below.
The Memorial Tournament is done and dusted and the PGA Tour set to really ramp up starting next weekend. Following the 3M Open this week, we head to TPC Southwind for the WGC Fed-Ex St Jude Invitational, after that we head straight to TPC Harding Park for the first major of the season, the PGA Championship. Just two weeks after the major, the Fed-Ex Cup three week stretch of playoff events get underway, culminating in the TOUR Championship on September 4th.
With such a massive schedule of golf coming up, many of the top players in the world have opted to take this week off to rest and recuperate, resulting in a bit of a underwhelming field. However, there are still some big names on the card, including the defending champion, Wolff.
In one of the major field notes for the 3M Open, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood will FINALLY make his return to the PGA Tour this week. The star has been notably absent alongside Australian Adam Scott, with the pair missing all six of the PGA Tour events since the return from the COVID-19 break. In his absence, Fleetwood has dropped a few spots on the world golf rankings to No.12.
Speaking of rankings, there is a new No.1 in the world after Spaniard Jon Rahm took out the Memorial Tournament on the weekend. Rahm will be out of action this week, however, with the only top 10 ranked players in the field being Dustin Jonson and Brooks Koepka.
The rest of the field will be headlined by the likes of Tony Finau, Paul Casey, Harris English, Bubba Watson and Matthew Wolff. With limited standout players this week, there’s potential for a winner to come from the clouds.
TPC Twin Cities is a Par 72 at just over 7,100 yards and has served as a stop on the PGA Tour since the 2001 season, where it hosted its first event on the Tour Champions. Last season, the 3M Championship, as it was known, became the 3M Open as the event was promoted to the PGA Tour. Wolff won the inaugural event by just 1 stroke over trailers Colin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau, and looks to have a real shot at going back to back with a light field.
The Tour Champions set up of the course promoted going low. The fairways were wide and the rough was low and the winning score was regularly around 20 under par. Last season, Tom Lehman was brought on to beef up the course in an attempt to make it more playable for the world’s best.
Fairways were narrowed and firmed while the rough was grown out for the inaugural tournament, and while 21 under par won the event last season, I expect that to come down just a touch as organisers continue to improve the layout and defences.
On a course where scoring is paramount you have to like the look of Finau. The American is one of the best in the world when it comes to reeling off big runs of birdies and looked really impressive at the Memorial on the weekend. Finau led the field after 36 holes and went on to finish in 8th place in what was a really tough week for scoring. Should have a much easier time this week and has decent pedigree at Twin Cities, finishing 23rd in his first trip there last season.
DJ missed the cut at the Memorial last week, but that was the first golf he had played in three weeks after missing both the Rocket Mortgage and the Workday Charity Open. Prior to that, Johnson won his first event of the season and his 21st PGA Tour title at the Travelers Championship. If he can drive the ball well this week, he will be in contention.
One out of left field here but I think that Bubba is not far off putting in a complete tournament. Since the PGA Tour returned, he has played in six tournaments and although he has missed the cut in three of them, he has shown some glimpses of Bubba brilliance. He shot 13 under par for a T7 finish at the Charles Schwab and was decent at the Memorial on the weekend, finishing T32, impressing particularly in Round 2 with a 68.
Wolff has missed three of six cuts since the PGA Tour resumed as well, and I was a little reluctant to have him in my top five but he is the defending champion and was solid at the Memorial on the weekend, finishing T22. Also had a 2nd place finish at the Rock Mortgage Open a few weeks ago. Should have a much easier time on this course and is a genuine scorer.
We haven’t seen Tommy play in over three months but it’s hard to leave a player of his calibre off the list. Tommy is still searching his first PGA Tour victory but will arguably have no better chance than this week with a really light field. Before the PGA Tour was suspended, Fleetwood had made the top 25 in four out of six official events.
Give me Tommy top 20 all day here. Easily the best odds of the four big dogs in this tournament in Johnson, Koepka, Finau and Fleetwood and I think probably the most consistent of the four, despite the fact that he hasn’t played in a few months. I have a lot more confidence in what I’m going to get from Tommy here over a Brooks Koepka, who no doubt has the ability to win, but also has a knack for going missing. Settle in and watch Fleetwood in the feature groups for the first two rounds and hopefully near the tail end of tee times on the weekend.
Derek Ernst ($251) – The 30-year-old had a tough start to the season on the Korn-Ferry Tour but since it returned from its hiatus he has been in fantastic form. He has finished T10, T12 and T5 in the last three weeks, shooting just one round over par across the 12 rounds in those tournaments.
Sahith Theegala ($201) – COVID-19 forced Theegala’s final year of eligibility in NCAA to be cut short and he has since turned pro. Earlier this season he was lighting the amateur circuit up, winning two events and finishing in the top 10 in all five of his events played. Won the 2020 Haskins Award, Ben Hogan Award and the Jack Nicklaus award, becoming just the fifth player to win all three awards in the same year, all of which commemorate the best collegiate player in the United States.
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