Matchbook’s resident Golf expert Cian Kirby selects his top three outright picks for the inaugural 3M Open from Minnesota.
Another brand new tournament on the PGA Tour schedule this week as the 3M Open gets underway at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota Thursday. It has attracted a relatively strong field for its inaugural playing but with no previous PGA Tour competitions held at the course, it’s hard to know what to expect.
Below I have broken down the course details, assessed the market leaders and picked out three outright selections that I think should enjoy the venue.
The Arnold Palmer designed course measures 7,450yds with three of the par 4’s drivable for the bigger hitters. Although bombers like Koepka and Finau should enjoy the venue, distance is not everything around this course as water is in play on over ten holes so players will have to strategically plot their way around the track to set up birdie opportunities. The bentgrass greens will be a good test of putting but I expect players to go low at TPC Twin Cities this week with a score of around twenty under par winning it.
Koepka Heads The Market
It’s no surprise to see World Number One Brooks Koepka head the market at 10.5. He has been in sublime form this year and he could arguably have won all three majors this season finishing second in both the US Masters and US Open while landing his second US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Although his recent form outside of majors is questionable which suggests he may have one eye on the upcoming Open Championship at Royal Portrush in two weeks time.
Jason Day 13.5 is next in the betting and arrives in decent form posting five top 25 finishes in his previous six tournaments. The Aussie is without a victory in over a year but he remains a threat and his stats suggest his next win won’t be far away.
Yet to miss a cut this season, Hideki Matsuyama is next in the market at 14.5. H-Dek will need to improve his putting if he is to land the spoils this week but his ball striking ability is second to none and he is sure to be in the mix once again here.
Bryson Back In The Groove
After missing a string of three straight cuts in May, Bryson Dechambeau has bounced back in impressive style by making his next three cuts including an eighth-placed finish in the Travelers Championship a fortnight ago. The World Number Eight ranks 5th in Birdie average and with low scores predicted this week he is sure to relish another birdie fest. ‘The Scientist’ ranks inside the top 50 for both driving accuracy and distance which should stand him in good stead around here.
As a winner of five PGA titles which all featured sub 15 under par finishes, this venue looks tailor-made for Bryson and I expect him to go close this week.
A Rising Star
My next best bet is Sungjae Im, who at just 21 already looks like a PGA Tour regular. A dual winner on the Web.com tour last season, the South Korean has gone close to landing his first PGA title this year with top 10 finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Valspar Championship and most recently at the Canadian Open. He backed that up with successive top 25 finishes and this rising star looks primed for a bold showing at TPC Twin Cities this week.
Too Big A Price
For my final pick, I am taking a chance on Daniel Berger to return to form. Prior to missing the cut at the Travelers Championship, he had made his previous seven cuts and flirted with victory by finishing second in the Puerto Rico Open back in February. With a brace of FedEx St. Jude Classic’s in the bag and three top 15 finishes in major championships he remains a player with bags of ability and at odds of 110.0 in this field, it’s hard not to support him.
- Bryson Dechambeau 3 points win @ 18.0
- Sungjae Im 1 point win @ 46.0
- Daniel Berger 1 point win @ 110.0