3M Open preview PGA tour

The Golf Insider brings you his 3M Open preview as the PGA tour heads to Minneapolis.

This week sees the players stay in the mid-West of mainland USA, and in the process they make a belated return to the state of Minnesota.

It’s all in the name of the 3M OPEN, a brand new tournament on a course that is also new to the main PGA Tour – but it has been a mainstay of the Champions Tour for the past decade and more.

Should make for an interesting week. One where many of the field will fancy their chances of gaining a win.

Here’s a full preview of the action in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”…

The Tournament

A new event on the PGA Tour schedule as the players move around the mid-West of America. The 3M Open is the first tournament held in the state of Minnesota for 50 years, and after early season “swings” in Hawaii, California and Florida this spell in the heartland of the US gives the season another phase of tournaments in one area – although it’s a pretty big one! Again it’ll be interesting to see whether the tournament catches fire with the bigger names, because the chances are (with a re-jigged calendar placing Majors back-to-back from April to July) it’ll soon become the property of journeyman pro’s. None the less, with prize-money and ranking points at stake, the competition will be fierce this week.

The Course

Located in Blaine, Minnesota the TPC Twin Cities is a 7,468 yard course played as a par 71. It was recently upgraded ahead of being added to the PGA Tour (prior to this it was a regular pit-stop on the Champions Tour aka the Seniors Tour). The venue was first opened in 2000. It’s an Arnold Palmer design, with Tom Lehman on-hand as a consultant, and is a classic parkland course with tree-lined fairways. The course consistently ranked highly for birdie averages on the Champions Tour, so the expectation is for low-scoring this week.

72-Hole Record – n/a

18-Hole Record – 60, Paul Goydos (2017) & Kenny Perry (2018).

Past Winners – n/a

The Field – A regular PGA Tour field this week in Minnesota with 150+ players in attendance. Brooks Koepka is the 8/1 favourite with the layers.

The Weather – The first two days we could see some rain (it’s rated as a 40% chance), but it should be clear over the weekend. Temperatures will be steady throughout, in the high 70s and low 80s all four days. No wind to speak of, hardly getting above 5-7mph through the week.

The Chances

Sungjae Im – $41 available

“Much of what I said about Im last week, ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, applies here. Same scoring conditions should be present, the same demand on players to hit greens-in-regulation, and the need to get plenty of birdies. Im went into last Sunday with a solid chance of making the places, but a Round 4 72 left him just outside the Top 20. But he remains bang there on all the numbers this season and a breakthrough win can’t be far away. He lacked for a cold putter last week, so if he can get the flat stick firing then there’s no reason at all why Im can’t go close.”

Jason Dufner – $101 available

“Despite Dufner missing the cut last week on the number at the birdie-fest that was the Rocket Mortgage Classic, I still think he’s worth sticking with at an inflated price. At first sight this week looks like accuracy from tee-to-green could be the key, with plenty of water lurking on lots of holes. Last week’s test was never going to suit Dufner (as we all know his troubles are on the greens) but this week should play to his strengths. We must remember that he was 4th at the Wells Fargo and 7th at The Memorial recently, as well as 35th at the US Open. His game is in good shape and all last week’s missed cut has done is push out his price, despite the fact he shot 4-under-par over 36 holes, and hit the ball well again from tee-to-green. Looks worth a punt at triple-figure prices all things considered.”

Wyndham Clark – $126 available

“Clark was playing some good golf earlier in the season but then tailed off around April and May – but he’s bounced back nicely with two solid efforts in the last two weeks. 15th at the Travelers Championship was followed up last week with a 17th place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 8 of his last 10 rounds have been in the 60’s and he looks capable of claiming a first PGA Tour title soon. He finished 10th in Puerto Rico and 7th at the Honda Classic earlier in the season and will no doubt have gained huge confidence over the last two weeks. A new venue levels the playing field so rookies like Clark aren’t at so much of a disadvantage because none of the field have seen or played the course. Seeing how Clark is playing right now, I think 100/1 is a big price.”

Cameron Tringale – $126 available

“Tringale is having a great season and his recent form is impressive which makes triple-figure quotes about him quite surprising. Last week in Michigan he finished 5th where he ranked 3rd in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green. He finished 11th in the Canadian Open, 23rd at the Byron Nelson and 5th at the Zurich Classic team event. He’s going through a purple patch right now and if he’s ever to land his first solo PGA Tour title, it’s going to be soon with the way that he’s playing. These quotes look way off the mark this week and must be snapped up.”

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