This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
3M Open Betting Preview
After a couple of weeks on Scottish links courses, the PGA Tour heads back stateside for the fourth installment of the 3M Open in the Twin Cities.
The field lacks much strength at the top, with just three players inside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking on hand. The tournament is headlined by world No. 14 Hideki Matsuyama -- who checks in at 18-1 odds -- and tournament favorite, Tony Finau, who is listed at 11-1. Last year, Cameron Champ, at 125-1 odds, continued the trend of long-shot winners in the event, claiming a a two-stroke victory over Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Jhonattan Vegas.
TPC Twin Cities plays as a traditional par-71 at approximately 7,400 yards, and the course's biggest defense is the water on 11 holes. Champ and 2020 winner Michael Thompson both led the field in putting en route to trophies, so it makes sense that we've seen long shot winners become an early trend here with greens being fairly easy to hit. Elite driving play hasn't been essential to success, so it seems likely accuracy will be more important than distance off the tee. Plus, two of the three winners ranked top-5 in Strokes Gained: Approach.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 1:15 PM ET Wednesday.
The following golfers, with a minimum of eight round played, have the lowest scoring average at TPC Twin Cities.
Coming in with a pair of top-6 finishes in both of his trips to Minnesota has Hadwin atop the list, and he's done it with hot play on the greens where he's gaining 1.39 strokes putting per round. That has the attention of the oddsmakers who have priced him at 18-1 to win – tied for the third choice on the board. It's a hefty price to pay for Hadwin who is coming off a missed cut at the John Deere Classic, but he does have four top-10s in his last 10 starts. A bit farther down the odds board and trending in the right direction is Clark, who has shot in the 60s in six of his eight career rounds at TPC Twin Cities. He's improved his world ranking nearly 100 spots in the last two months, having made 5-of-6 cuts with a pair of top-20s. He's one to keep an eye on this week at 50-1 to win.
These players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes on approach over their last 20 rounds.
It has been a few weeks since we've seen Riley in action, so the above stats are an eye-opening reminder of how good he's been over the last few months and especially with his iron play. The rookie's emergence this year started with a runner-up at the Valspar, and he's also notched top-15s in five of his last seven starts. Even at 22-1 odds, he's a prime target as the seventh choice on the board in a weak field. Another player looking for his first win on Tour is Svensson (35-1 odds), who has made seven consecutive cuts and has three top-10s this year. In his only appearance at the 3M in 2019, he ranked third in SG: Tee-to-Green. He also ranks well in driving accuracy (43rd) and SG: Approach (46th) this season.
3M Open Bets: Outright Picks
Hideki Matsuyama (16-1)
It seems disrespectful to have Matsuayma with the same odds as Maverick McNealy and Cameron Tringale, who are still searching for their first victory. Matsuyama already has two wins this season and finished T7 in his lone 3M appearance, in which he ranked fourth in SG: Approach.
Brendan Steele (35-1)
After starting the year with five missed cuts in a row, Steele is rounding back into form with seven made cuts in a row including top-10s against strong fields at the Memorial and PGA Championship. He's one of the few players with multiple Tour wins teeing it up this week and one of the best ball strikers in the field.
Emiliano Grillo (65-1)
Grillo's inconsistent nature can be frustrating for bettors, so I prefer to bet him to win instead of a top-10 or matchup play as a result. After starting the year in a slump, he's rebounded by making 6-of-8 cuts with a T2 at the John Deere. He's a solid course fit as an accurate driver and solid iron player.
3M Open Bets: Top-10 Wagers
Tom Hoge (13-2)
Speaking of solid iron players, Hoge ranks third in the field in SG :Approach this season and gets a generous price for a top-10 wager on the heels of six missed cuts in a row. He should benefit from dropping down into a much weaker field than he's been used to playing in.
Michael Gligic (15-2)
Gligic has quietly been playing some solid golf in lesser events having made the cut in his last seven starts with a T-10 at the John Deere, where he gained 1.7 strokes per round off the tee and on approach combined. He's also made the cut in both of his appearances at the 3M, leaving him undervalued for a top-10 wager.
Andrew Novak (10-1)
Digging a little deeper than usual due to the quality of the field leads me to Novak, a Tour rookie who has posted a pair of top-15s over his last 10 starts in weaker events in Mexico and Puntacana. It's his first appearance at TPC Twin Cities and it should be a good fit for him considering his iron play is the best part of his game.
3M Open Bets: Head-to-Head Matchups
Poston has really come into form this summer with a win and a runner-up finish over his last three tournaments, and he also had two other top-10s this spring. At a course that can turn into a bit of a putting contest, it's hard to get too crazy about Laird, who ranks 191st in SG: Putting this season.
The 22-year-old Haskins Award winner this year has looked impressive early in his professional career with a pair of top-10s in six starts. I like him in a matchup against Hossler, who ranks 197th in driving accuracy and 200th in SG: Approach this season which are two important metrics for success this week.