FanDuel PGA: 3M Open Picks and Strategy

FanDuel PGA: 3M Open Picks and Strategy

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA DFS Picks series.

3M Open

Course: TPC Twin Cities (7,431 yards, par 71)
Purse: $7,500,000
Winner: $1,350,000 and 500 FedExCup points

Tournament Preview

After being spoiled with world-class talent and signature venues in Scotland these past couple weeks, a stark contrast in both field strength and style of play accompanies the schedule's transition from the year's final major championship to the three-event closing stretch of the regular season that leads us into the FedExCup Playoffs. As TPC Twin Cities plays host to the 3M Open for the fourth consecutive year since the tournament's transition from the Champions to the PGA Tour in 2019, the 156-man entrant list in Blaine, Minnesota includes just six representatives from the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and zero from the top 10. The post-major blues are real, but DFS lobbies are stacked with contests and there's still a champion to be crowned come Sunday afternoon. Let's hop right into what it takes to win the 3M Open, and which players might contend as a result.

Recent Champions

2021 - Cameron Champ
2020 - Michael Thompson
2019 - Matthew Wolff

Key Stats to Victory

  • SG: Approach / Proximity: 175-plus yards
  • Total Driving
  • Birdie-or-Better Percentage
  • Par-5: 550-600 and Par-3: 200-225 Efficiency

Champion's Profile

Driving distance appears evident as a primary contributor to success on this nearly 7,500-yard, par-71 layout with names like Cameron Champ and Matthew Wolff listed as recent champions above, though trouble also lurks off the tee in the form of bountiful water hazards. Additionally, the rough that lines these wide fairways has been lengthened to four inches, so it's not quite a spray and pray because of the above-average chance of big numbers, but it's close. The average winning score through three editions of this event is 265.67 total strokes, or right around 18-under-par. Circles won't hide from scorecards this week, so DFS scoring should be relatively high with plenty of risk-reward opportunities. Nearly half of all approach shots at TPC Twin Cities have come from 175-plus yards, but simple and smooth bentgrass putting surfaces make it feasible to hunt for pins and knock in those par breakers. 

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Tony Finau ($12,000)

If the weak-field narrative didn't already sink in, you'll surely pause when discovering the consensus betting favorite to win a golf tournament is Tony Finau. His bloated $12K FanDuel salary is a reflection of this, but he's truly deserving of the top spot on the board with Hideki Matsuyama and Sungjae Im not far behind. Finau is top-5 among all 3M Open attendees in SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Approach and proximity from 175 to 200 yards over his last 24 rounds, but he also seems to like the course with finishes of T28-T3-T23 in three trips to TPC Twin Cities. 

Cam Davis ($10,900)

Davis picked up his fourth and fifth top-10 results of the season in back-to-back fashion at the John Deere Classic and the Barracuda Championship, while rising to seventh on Tour in eagle rate, 14th in Going for the Green - Hit Green percentage and 23rd in fairway proximity. The Aussie has gained a collective 12.5 strokes from tee to green across three 3M Open appearances, and his driving power is a definite plus, guiding him to a ranking of sixth in Birdie or Better percentage over his past 24 measured rounds. 

Brendan Steele ($10,000)

Coming in at fourth or better in SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Approach, overall proximity, Prox: 200-plus and Opportunities Gained over his last 24 measured rounds, it's tough to find many better ball strikers in Blaine. However, another poor flat-stick performance could derail his chances at a podium finish like it did en route to a T25 at the Travelers Championship, but Steele's ceiling is as high as anyone's if he can roll the rock at even just an average level. Steele gained 8.2 strokes from tee to green in his lone 3M Open appearance back in 2019, but he fell to 53rd place with 6.3 strokes lost on the greens. 

Nick Hardy ($9,900)

Hardy continues to gather steam since his runner-up finish at the Korn Ferry Tour's NV5 Invitational in late May, now securing five straight finishes of T35 or better on the PGA Tour from the RBC Canadian Open through the Barracuda Championship. Over his last 12 measured rounds, Hardy ranks third in SG: OTT, fourth in BoB percentage, ninth in P5: 550-600 efficiency and 10th in driving distance. 

Longer Shots with Value

Adam Svensson ($9,700)

Svensson will likely be wildly popular at this salary with seven consecutive cuts made since the AT&T Byron Nelson and four straight top-25s from the RBC Canadian Open through a solo-sixth at the Barbasol Championship. He's finally in a groove with the flat stick, averaging 3.2 strokes gained putting per event throughout his last five starts. The Canadian is fourth in SG: Putting and sixth in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds, a combination that's helped ascend him to the No. 1 spot in Birdie-or-Better percentage during this span as well. He finished 15th at the 2019 3M Open, ranking third among the field in SG: Tee-to-Green behind only Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa.

Austin Smotherman ($9,200)

Fresh off the first top-10 finish of his young PGA Tour career this past week at the Barracuda Championship, Smotherman heads to Blaine ranked fifth in Opportunities Gained and 10th in SG: OTT over his last 24 measured rounds. He's missed just two cuts since the beginning of April and he's up to 14th on Tour in overall proximity this season.

Doug Ghim ($9,000)

Three missed cuts in four starts since the Travelers Championship could help reduce his exposure in lineups this week, but Ghim still ranks 23rd or better in SG: OTT, Opportunities Gained and Prox: 175-200 yards over his last 24 measured rounds. Ghim's downfall tends to be the flat stick, but he recently enjoyed maybe the best putting week of his career en route to a T16 at the Genesis Scottish Open. Ghim tied for 18th here in 2020 when he picked up 2.1 strokes on the dance floors.

Michael Gligic ($8,100)

Gligic has been on fire with the putter since the Travelers Championship, carrying him to four straight top-40 finishes as he ranks fourth in SG: Putting over his past 12 measured rounds. During this recent 12-round sample, he's also sixth in BoB percentage, 13th in P5: 550-600 efficiency and 14th in Prox: 200-plus yards. Additionally, he's a perfect 2-for-2 in cuts made at the 3M Open.

Strategy Tips This Week 

Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap

Due in part to the nature of lineup optimizers and models, the chalk is going to be even more popular in a field this weak with so many unknown names. Yet, this week's chalk will consist of generally unproven and/or inconsistent players in the grand scheme of things, so pay attention to expected ownership and don't be afraid to target a few more sleepers than usual, as long shots are definitely in play at a birdie fest on an easy course. Gaining leverage is so important, and there are many paths to victory at TPC Twin Cities from a player-type perspective. As for the weather, there doesn't appear to be much of a wave split advantage, though Thursday afternoon is looking like the windiest period of the tournament by a slight margin.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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