Another historic Open Championship as Cameron Smith wins his first career major and third win of the season. The PGA TOUR heads to Blaine, Minnesota, for the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities. The course is a par 71, measuring 7,431 yards and will be on bentgrass greens.
The course will be in its fourth installment on the PGA TOUR rotation and will host a handful of golfers coming over from The Open like Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300), Tony Finau ($10,500) and Sungjae Im ($10,000). The course plays relatively straightforward as long as the forecast cooperates. When the wind is benign, scores have been 19-under (2020) and 21-under (2019). Last season, the wind picked up, and Cameron Champ ($7,800) finished at 15-under. The course has 72 sand bunkers and 27 water hazards, which come into play on 15 holes. The landing areas off the tee are pretty generous, so the water shouldn’t play a huge factor off the tee this week if there’s no wind in the forecast. Like the Travelers Championship and the John Deere Classic, it comes down to who can make the most birdies and keep them going throughout the week. The key stats to consider this week are the strokes gained off the tee and approach with birdies or better gained. We should also look at who’s had pop putting weeks on bentgrass greens. Michael Thompson ($7,300) and Troy Merritt ($7,400) mentioned how pure these greens have rolled in the past.
Davis Riley ($9,000)
If last week taught us anything, it’s not to fade a golfer who sets up well just because the entire Daily Fantasy Golf industry is rostering them. Riley could be the Cameron Smith of the 3M Open with how well his ball striking is this season, averaging 6.8 strokes gained tee-to-green over his previous five tournaments. Riley also ranks fourth in approach, 14th in birdies gained and 16th off the tee over his last 12 rounds. With finishes of 13th at The Memorial (2022), fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge and runner-up at the Valspar Championship this season, Riley should feel confident and well-rested for the task at hand.
Ryan Palmer ($7,900)
Palmer is one of my favorite Daily Fantasy Sleepers to roster in lineups this week if the course is gettable. Over the previous 12 rounds in easy scoring conditions, he ranks fourth in tee to green, third in off the tee, fourth in DraftKings points gained and first in par 5 efficiency. A 12th at The Sony Open and fifth at The AT&T Byron Nelson prove he can score when the conditions allow for a bevy of birdies. A 16th at The Genesis Scottish Open should make him more confident this week than he has been over the past couple of months. Palmer has had an up-and-down year, but he’ll want to improve his FedEx Cup rankings this week; he currently sits outside the top 100.
Matthias Schwab ($7,200)
A missed cut last week isn’t the best current form, but Matthew Wolff came off two missed cuts before he won in 2019, and Thompson’s win in 2020 also came off a missed cut in his previous tournament leading up to his win. We shouldn’t be using a missed cut as a prerequisite, but we shouldn’t be too worried about it this week. We should focus on how a golfer’s game is trending, and Schwab may have found something at the Travelers Championship a few weeks ago. Schwab finished 53rd in Cromwell, which isn’t great, but he gained 1.7 strokes with his irons — the most he gained over his previous five events. He followed it up with +2.5 through approach at the John Deere Classic, the most he gained since The Valero Texas Open. His recent finish of 16th at TPC Deere Run is a great sign coming into this week, and we know he can hit it far off the tee relative to the field, ranking 39th in driving distance gained over the previous 12 rounds. In his first full season on the PGA TOUR, Schwab has three top-eight finishes at the Valero Texas Open, Puerto Rico Open and The Honda Classic.
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