Following Cameron Smith’s historic win at the Old Course of St. Andrews, the 2022 PGA TOUR season continues this week with the 3M Open. Ever since this tournament was added to the annual PGA TOUR schedule back in 2019, TPC Twin Cities (par 71, 7,431 yards, bentgrass greens) in Blaine, Minnesota has been the only course to host this event. A year ago, Cameron Champ captured a two-shot victory at TPC Twin Cities, finishing at -15. For the three editions of the 3M Open played at this par 71, the average winning score has been -18.3.
Designed by Arnold Palmer in 2000, TPC Twin Cities is a very scoreable track, if you are able to avoid all the water hazards at this venue. Water comes into play on 15 of the 18 holes at TPC Twin Cities and at last year’s 3M Open, 317 golf balls got wet during the tournament, which was the most of any PGA TOUR venue last season by a notable 29 golf balls. This obviously makes players who avoid large numbers on their scorecards at an encouraging rate wise targets at TPC Twin Cities. Champ ranked fifth in bogey avoidance here last season and Matthew Wolff led his field in the category during his breakthrough win at TPC Twin Cities the year prior.
With this par 71 presenting some of the widest fairways of any PGA TOUR host, any length of player can contend at TPC Twin Cities and OTT stats are mostly irrelevant for research this week. Conversely, precise iron play is a necessity at this venue with two of the three players to take home the novelty check at TPC Twin Cities finishing in the top-four in SG APP during their victories. More so than usual, we also need to be pursuing top-notch putters of the golf ball, as for two years running, we have seen the winner of the 3M Open lead their field in SGP. Lastly, while scoring on the three par fives at TPC Twin Cities is important, elite par four players need to be our priority. Last season, Champ finished runner up in SG on the par fours at TPC Twin Cities, while the first two 3M Open champions led their fields.
After competing at St. Andrews last week, most of the world’s best players have elected to sit out the 3M Open, translating into one of the weakest fields of the season. Only three of the top-25 ranked golfers in the world are making the trip to Blaine. Still, there are many up and coming players competing at TPC Twin Cities and this is an important event for the golfers who are on the outside looking in for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The 3M Open is the third to last tournament before the postseason and only the top-125 players in FedEx Cup points will move onto the playoffs. There will be a standard top-65 and ties cut taking place at the 3M Open after the first two rounds and below, I have featured four of my favorite DraftKings value plays of the week that all cost less than $7.5K.
Troy Merritt ($7,400) – Merritt is on the heels of a T30 at the Scottish Open, which marked his ninth top-30 and 16th made cut in 22 starts this season. Ranking 20th in SGP, Merritt has been one of the top putters on the PGA TOUR this season and he owns a spotless 4/4 record in terms of made cuts at courses that present bentgrass greens during his 2022 campaign. Plus, Merritt has made 2/3 cuts at TPC Twin Cities, including a T7 in 2019. The 36-year-old has a tendency of shining in weaker fields and is simply underpriced for his ceiling this week, which is clear when we compare DFS pricing to outright odds. On DraftKings Sportsbook, Merritt carries +4500 odds to win the 3M Open, which are the same odds as Nick Hardy, who costs $600 more for DFS.
Joohyung Kim ($7,300) – After missing the weekend at the PGA Championship, Kim has been terrific, finishing T23 at the U.S. Open, T3 at the Scottish Open and T47 at the Open Championship. During this span, Kim has shot even par or better in 9/12 rounds, which is an extremely impressive feat considering the courses and competition he faced in all three of these starts. Highlighted by a win at the Singapore International back in January, Kim has moved himself up a notable 87 spots in the world golf rankings in the new year to No. 40. This makes the 20-year-old the fourth highest ranked golfer teeing it up at the 3M Open and from a DFS perspective, Kim is only the 40th most expensive option on DraftKings this week, showing you how mispriced the rising star is in this weak field. Simply put, Kim is arguably the best value we have seen on DraftKings this season and is an extremely tough fade for all formats, even with hefty ownership surely coming his direction.
Michael Thompson ($7,300) – Thompson has been one of the most successful players at TPC Twin Cities, advancing through the cut at all three of the 3M Opens hosted at this par 71, most notably with a two-stroke victory in 2020. Now, the 37-year-old returns to Blaine making five of his last six cuts, with a T9 at the Barracuda Championship being his most recent result. During this start, Thompson posted a 9-under par 62 in the third round, tying his career-low on the PGA TOUR. Thompson ranks 20th in this field in bogey avoidance over his last 50 rounds and is a standout value at this cheap salary.
Michael Gligic ($7,000) – Gligic has been competing on the weekend at the last two 3M Opens and is currently riding a seven made cut streak, including a T10 at the John Deere Classic. Ranking top-20 in SGT2G, SGP and bogey avoidance over his last 24 rounds, Gligic’s game doesn’t have any real blemishes right now and he has been very consistent on bentgrass greens, making eight consecutive cuts at venues home to this green type. Albeit for a very weak field at the Barbasol Championship, Gligic was priced up to $8K two weeks ago and is one of the better bargains of the week at this depressed salary.
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