Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's 3M Open Tips 2022

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Congratulations if you were on-board Cameron Smith at Monday prices of up to 28/1 (William Hill) to win The Open.  His stellar putting display and 5 straight birdies on the Sunday back-nine was superhuman stuff. He joins Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick as the third first-time Major winner of 2022.

On to this week we go and the fourth renewal of the 3M Open, played at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. 3M are based in Minneapolis and have sponsored a PGA Tour Champions Tour event in the area since 2001. 3M have certainly stepped up to the mark, parting with the circa $16 million required to sponsor a PGA Tour event. Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Sahith Theegala are all in attendance.

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Before we go into the detail surrounding the 3M Open, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,100 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Course Guide: The 3M Championship had been an established tournament on the PGA Champions Tour going back to 1993 before it was promoted to the PGA Tour in 2019. Played in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis at TPC Twin Cities, this was always a tournament which produced very low scores.

A 7,114 yard Par 72 was the format for the Seniors and winning scores of -19/197 (2016 – Joe Durant), -20/196 (2017 – Paul Goydos) and -21/195 (2018 – Kenny Perry) show that this course was very much there for the taking. After Kenny Perry lifted the trophy in August 2018, a Tom Lehman and Tim Herron-led course renovation started on this original Arnold Palmer design, with the focus of adding distance which they achieved by adding 350 yards. However across its PGA Tour debut, winning scores of 21/263, 19/265 and -15/269 highlight a golf course that is always on the easier side of average on the PGA Tour.

TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota: Designer: Arnold Palmer, 2000 with Herron and Lehman renovation, 2018; Course Type: Resort; Par: 71; Length: 7,431 yards; Number of Holes with Water In-Play: 15 Holes; Fairways: Bentgrass; Rough: Bluegrass with fescue 4″; Greens: 6,500 sq.ft average featuring Bentgrass; Tournament Stimp: 12ft. Course Scoring Average 2016: 69.92 (-2.08), Champions Tour Difficulty Rank 25 of 26 courses. 2017: 69.28 (-2.72), Champions Tour Difficulty Rank 24 of 26. 2018: 70.92 (-1.08), Champions Tour Difficulty Rank 18 of 26 courses. 2019: 69.46 (-2.54), PGA Tour Difficulty Rank 36 of 49 courses. 2020: 69.95 (-1.05), PGA Tour Difficulty Rank 23 of 41 courses. 2021: 70.44 (-0.56), Difficulty Rank 24 of 51 courses.

Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for TPC Twin Cities and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:

  • TPC Twin Cities: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:38; 300:31; 325:30; 350:36.
  • TPC Deere Run: 250 yards from tee: 41 yards wide; 275:40; 300:36 325:33; 350:30.
  • TPC River Highlands: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:36; 300:29; 325:29; 350:28.
  • Muirfield Village: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:28; 325:24; 350:27.
  • Colonial: 250 yards from tee: 27 yards wide; 275:26; 300:27; 325:26; 350:23.
  • Champions Course – Southern Hills: Average 40 yards wide.
  • TPC Potomac: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:30; 300:27; 325:23; 350:27.
  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.
  • Oaks Course: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:34; 300:29; 325:27; 350:26.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • TPC Sawgrass: 250 yards from the tee: 31 yards wide; 275:32; 300:30; 325:28 350:20.
  • Bay Hill: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:33; 300:33; 325:39 350:29.
  • PGA National: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:27 350:25.
  • Riviera: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26 350:28.
  • TPC Scottsdale: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:30; 300:28; 325:27; 350:27.
  • Pebble Beach: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:30 350:26.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • TPC Stadium: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26; 350:24.
  • Waialae: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:34; 325:37; 350:34.
  • Plantation Course: 250 yards from the tee: 59 yards wide; 275:61; 300:65; 325:60; 350:62.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes other Arnold Palmer designs include:

  • Albany – 2015 – 2021 Hero World Challenge
  • Bay Hill Country Club – Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • Isleworth Golf & Country Club – 2014 Hero World Challenge
  • PGA West – Palmer Private – Host Course 2008 through 2015 Career Builder Challenge
  • TPC Boston – Dell Technologies Championship

Course Overview: TPC Twin Cities is part of the Tournament Players Club group of courses owned by the PGA Tour. Apart from the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the PGA Tour’s Number 1 tournament, TPC Designs tend to be quite standard and gettable. Naturally built and operated in the main for amateur players who want to be able to play courses they see the top professionals play on TV, the course set-ups tend to be resort like in general.

And so it has proved more or less over the past 3 years. Despite course strengthening, TPC Twin Cities proved to be a total birdie-fest on its inaugural outing, and in 2020 with a couple of days with gusting 25 mph wind to contend with, the winning total was -19/265. 2021 saw a -15/269 winning total with faster greens and a nagging 15mph westerly in play all week.

The course is wide from the tee, and despite fairways being tree-lined this is no classical layout. In fact the course sees water used as a defence on a majority of holes, giving the course almost a Florida-type look to it. I’ll add a couple of other facts. The course features pure Bentgrass green complexes, and at 900 feet in altitude the ball flies a little further than the professionals are used to. With the calculations required, this is something that some players can work through with no issues, but undoubtedly some struggle with the mathematics or trusting it.

An original Arnold Palmer design, the course post-Herron/Lehman renovation now plays as a 7,431 yard Par 71, which with thinner air is short enough to take apart. Green complexes are large at an average 6,500 square feet, especially when compared to recent Tour stop-offs. With 3 par-5s measuring 594 yards (6th), 593 yards (12th) and 596 yards (18th) in length, the longest holes on the course show some resistance here, but both sets of par-3s and par-4s are easy from a PGA Tour scoring perspective.

3m open tips

3M Open Winners: 2021: Cameron Champ (-15); 2020: Michael Thompson (-19); 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21).

OWGR of Winners: 2021: Champ 123; 2020: Thompson 208; 2019: Wolff 1659.

Cut Line: 2021: -2; 2020: -2; 2019: -3.

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2021: Round 1 -7; Round 2 -10; Round 3 -12; Round 4 -15.
  • 2020: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -15; Round 4 -19.
  • 2019: Round 1 -9; Round 2 -14; Round 3 -15; Round 4 -21.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats | SG Stats.

Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are J.T. Poston, Tony Finau, Adam Long, Maverick McNealy, Wyndham Clark, Nick Hardy, Martin Laird, Emiliano Grillo, Chesson Hadley and Sungjae Im.

3M Open Winning Prices: 2021: Champ 150/1; 2020: Thompson 125/1; 2019: Wolff 175/1. Overall Average: 150/1.

Historical Weather:

  • 2021: Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 88. Wind S 6-12 mph, with gusts to 17 mph. Due to inclement weather, round one was suspended from 11:28 a.m. to 1:52 p.m. (2 hours, 24 minutes). Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:54 p.m., with 11 players yet to complete their round. Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 93. Wind SSW 10-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High of 90. Wind NW 10-15 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 92. Wind WNW 10-15 mph.
  • 2020: Thursday: Due to fog, the start to round one was delayed by 19 minutes and began at 7:09 a.m. CT. Mostly sunny with a high of 81. SE wind 8-15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 88. Wind S 13-18 mph, gusting to 25 mph. Saturday: Cloudy with scattered showers. High of 89. Wind S 14-20 mph, gusting to 25 mph. Sunday: Due to early morning storms, the original one-tee start at 7:20 a.m. was changed to a split tee start from 9:59 a.m. – noon. Mostly cloudy. High of 82. Wind NW 7-14 mph.
  • 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 83. Wind N 8-15 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high of 87. Wind SW 5-10 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high of 90. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 92. Wind S/SSW 6-12 mph.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Blaine, Minneapolis, is here.

Hot, humid and with a slight breeze on a couple of the days is the forecast summary for this week. Typical 30 degree Celsius plus temperatures here in Minneapolis are in play this week, and with a lack of rain in the build-up, I’d expect some run on the fairways. Rain during the tournament looks unlikely, so I would expect watered greens in this extreme heat. All-in-all, at this stage I’m thinking -17 to -19 as the winning total.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Charles Schwab Challenge / Dutch Open.   Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Brendan Steele; 2) Paul Barjon / Sungjae Im; 4) Hayden Buckley; 5) Nick Hardy / Grayson Murray; 7) Cam Davis; 8) Jason Day / Emiliano Grillo; 10) Sahith Theegala; 11) Stewart Cink / Wyndham Clark / Stephan Jaeger / Matthew NeSmith; 15) Kelly Kraft; 16) Austin Smotherman; 17) Chez Reavie / Doc Redman; 19) Tony Finau / Beau Hossler / Cameron Percy; 22) Adam Svensson; 23) Adam Hadwin / Adam Long / Adam Svensson.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Aaron Baddeley; 2) Brendan Steele; 3) Davis Riley; 4) Tony Finau; 5) Martin Laird; 6) Brian Gay; 7) Cam Davis; 8) Ben Kohles / Chase Seiffert; 10) Chris Gotterup; 11) Lee Hodges / Adam Svensson; 13) Vaughn Taylor; 14) Chesson Hadley; 15) Hideki Matsuyama; 16) Jonathan Byrd; 17) Kramer Hickok / Chez Reavie; 19) Hank Lebioda; 20) Tyler Duncan / John Huh; 22) Wesley Bryan / J.T. Poston / Sam Ryder; 25) Emiliano Grillo / C.T. Pan.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Adam Hadwin; 2) Wyndham Clark; 3) John Huh; 4) Arjun Atwal; 5) Jim Knous; 6) Sahith Theegala; 7) Andrew Putnam; 8) Joseph Bramlett; 9) Beau Hossler / Seung-yul Noh / D.A. Points; 12) Cameron Percy; 13)  Jason Day; 14) David Hearn; 15) Charles Howell III; 16) Austin Cook; 17) Kevin Tway; 18) Dylan Wu; 19) Camilo Villegas; 20) Tony Finau / Peter Malnati; 22) Sungjae Im / Bo Van Pelt; 24) Bill Haas; 25) Martin Laird
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Brendan Steele; 2) Davis Riley; 3) Martin Laird; 4) Aaron Baddeley; 5) Tony Finau; 6) John Huh; 7) Adam Hadwin; 8) Chez Reavie / Sahith Theegala; 10) Nick Hardy; 11) Cam Davis; 12) Joseph Bramlett / Sungjae Im; 14) Tyler Duncan; 15) Hayden Buckley; 16) Adam Svensson; 17) Emiliano Grillo / Kramer Hickok; 19) Maverick McNealy; 20) Wyndham Clark; 21) Chesson Hadley; 22) Adam Long / John Merrick; 24) Lee Hodges / Danny Lee.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Brendon Todd; 2) Michael Gligic; 3) Seung-yul Hoh; 4) Chesson Hadley / Adam Svensson; 6) Nick Hardy; 7) Austin Cook; 8) Justin Lower / David Skinns; 10) J.J. Henry / J.T. Poston; 12) C.T. Pan; 13) Tony Finau; 14) Bo Van Pelt; 15) Jonas Blixt / Chad Ramey; 17) Ben Crane / Andrew Landry / Andrew Putnam; 20) Cam Davis / Nate Lashley / David Lingmerth / Adam Long; 24) Cameron Tringale / Matt Wallace.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Brendan Steele; 2) Nick Hardy; 3) Tony Finau / Michael Gligic; 5) Adam Svensson; 6) Brendon Todd; 7) Sahith Theegala; 8) John Huh; 9) Martin Laird; 10) Austin Cook / Chesson Hadley / Adam Hadwin; 13) Cam Davis / Adam Long; 15) Seung-yul Noh / Davis Riley; 17) Chez Reavie; 18) Wyndham Clark; 19) Tyler Duncan; 20) Andrew Putnam / Cameron Tringale; 22) Aaron Baddeley / Hank Lebioda.; 24) Jonathan Byrd / Beau Hossler / Maverick McNealy.

For a summary of the Strokes Gained Performances from this week’s field here at TPC Twin Cities since 2016 click here.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of the winners of the 3M Open back to 2019 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2021, Cameron Champ (-15). 318 yards (8th), 58.9% fairways (49th), 75.0% greens in regulation (22nd), 33’7″ proximity to hole (22nd), 77.8 % scrambling (6th), 1.63 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2020, Michael Thompson (-19). 293 yards (46th), 67.9% fairways (22nd), 83.3% greens in regulation (3rd), 33’3″ proximity to hole (31st), 83.3% scrambling (2nd), 1.72 putts per GIR (20th).
  • 2019, Matthew Wolff (-21). 304 yards (36th), 67.9% fairways (31st), 83.3% greens in regulation (6th), 28’5″ proximity to hole (11th), 50.0% scrambling (62nd), 1.63 putts per GIR (6th).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 30th, Driving Accuracy: 34th, Greens in Regulation: 10th, Proximity to Hole: 21st, Scrambling: 23rd, Putting Average 9th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:

  • 2021, Cameron Champ (-15). SG Off the Tee: 39th, SG Approach: 19th, SG Around the Green: 48th, SG Tee to Green: 27th, SG Putting: 1st.
  • 2020, Michael Thompson (-19). SG Off the Tee: 51st, SG Approach: 4th, SG Around the Green: 53rd, SG Tee to Green: 17th, SG Putting: 1st.
  • 2019, Matthew Wolff (-21). SG Off the Tee: 21st, SG Approach: 2nd, SG Around the Green: 18th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 39th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 37th, SG Approach: 8th, SG Around the Green: 40th, SG Tee to Green: 15th, SG Putting: 14th.

Let’s take a view from players as to how TPC Twin Cities sets up and what skill sets the course favours:

Cameron Champ (2021): Yeah, I was just in a very good place. My game was trending in the right direction. The previous two days I felt like it was just kind of stress-free golf. Obviously I feel like I left a lot out there, but I knew Sunday if I just played the same way and minimized the mistakes, which I did today, I might have a chance. Obviously coming down today, the course played not as easy as it did Thursday, Friday. Obviously the wind conditions, it kind of started to firm up some and I just dug down and just tried to finish it off.”

Troy Merritt (2021): “You know, as most of the players would tell you, they think a lot of courses suit their eye, but I like bent greens, I always have. I’m not a fan of Bermuda, and obviously we don’t have it up here. Spent plenty of years up here playing on these style of golf courses and hopefully we can use that to our advantage this weekend.”

Michael Thompson (2020): “Putting, really. I really like these greens, I’ve always liked bentgrass greens. Growing up in Arizona, I grew up on kind of slow Bermuda, kind of grainy Bermuda, and so it was a treat to get to play bent. So when I get good greens like this that roll smooth, it feels like the ball is hugging the ground for a long time, I get excited because I know I’m starting it on my line and it’s easier for me to get a good feel. I think I started out the week with confidence in my putting, and I’m going to go do some work in a little bit and maintain that and just kind of keep it rolling.

It is, it is, very much like PGA National this course.  You know what shots you have to hit. There’s no if, and or but about it, you’ve just got to step up and hit the shot, execute, and I’m doing that well this week. I’m happy with where I’m at, feel like my game’s really good. It was nice to get those jitters out of the way today and tomorrow, going to go have some fun.”

Matthew Wolff (2019): This course is gettable, especially with the rain, it’s been softer. I feel like it’s a course that really suits me well, a lot of drivers. Hitting the fairway obviously sets you up in good position to hit a lot of wedges in there, and I think that’s the biggest thing today is I was really dialled in with my wedges, got the distances really spot on.”

Bryson DeChambeau (2019): Both 18 and 9 are difficult holes. They’re very difficult holes. Look, if you hit in the fairway on 18, it’s a pretty simple hole. If you hit it in the rough, it’s a tough lay-up and you’ve got to wedge it close to try to make birdie. You’re giving up a shot. No. 9, it’s also a very difficult hole. You’ve got to hit a good drive. If the pin’s over there on the right on nine again, you’re going to have to think about it. It’s a very difficult hole. Just make sure you’re in the fairway, so they’re both difficult.

For sure, I think that there’s a lot of water and a lot of tedious tee shots out here and that’s a pretty good defence. The pins were tucked a couple times today and people are going to make mistakes. Piercy shooting 9 under yesterday just kind of opened the floodgates a little bit, just going, okay, we can do it out here.”

Collin Morikawa (2019): “I think my ball-striking’s kept me in this week and finally was able to make some putts. Yeah, no, I like this course, it fits my eye a lot, it fits my eye off the tee, which is really comfortable and I think that’s the most part. You’ve got to see it from the tee and see it all the way from the last shot that’s going to drop. It’s pretty much stress-free today other than the three-putt. Just hit my lines, hit a lot of good shots and played to my strengths. Ball-striking has been my strength ever since I’ve been a little kid and kept up on that.

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the winners of the 3M Open since 2019:

  • 2021 – Cameron Champ: Round 1: 38th, Round 2: 19th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2020 – Michael Thompson: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2019 – Matthew Wolff: Round 1: 49th, Round 2: 35th, Round 3: 1st.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the shots from the lead during the tournament of 3M Open winners since 2019:

  • 2021 – Cameron Champ: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2020 – Michael Thompson: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: level.
  • 2019 – Matthew Wolff: Round 1: 7 back, Round 2: 8 back, Round 3: level.

Form of 3M Open winners since 2019:

  • Cameron Champ: 11th John Deere/MC Rocket Mortgage/MC US Open / WD Memorial.
  • Michael Thompson: MC Workday/64th Rocket Mortgage/46th Travelers/8th Heritage.
  • Matthew Wolff: MC Rocket Mortgage/MC Travelers/50th TPC Scottsdale.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2021 – Fowler/Merritt/Sloan/Vegas  -2AM/2PM Split -7/64 – 66/1, 90/1, 100/1 & 66/1.
  • 2020 – Werenski  – PM -8/63 – 90/1.
  • 2019 – Piercy  – PM -9/62 – 66/1.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 4 – Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama.
  • 3 – Lucas Glover, Ryan Moore.
  • 2 – Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird, Troy Merritt.
  • 1 – Arjun Atwal, Sang-moon Bae, Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Cameron Champ, Stewart Cink, Derek Ernst, Tony Finau, Dylan Frittelli, Bill Haas, Sungjae Im, Michael Kim, David Lingmerth, Danny Lee, Ben Martin, Sean O’Hair, J.T. Poston, Chesson Reavie, Michael Thompson, Brendon Todd, Camilo Villegas, Nick Watney, Danny Willett.

We have now seen 3 renewals here: 2019 saw Matthew Wolff deliver his first PGA Tour win at the age of 20 in only his 4th PGA Tour start. His win came off incoming form of MC/MC since becoming a professional at the Travelers Championship only 2 weeks earlier, and he won at a rather tasty 175/1 best price. 2020 saw

Michael Thompson won at 125/1. His inbound form read MC/64/46/8, with the top 8 finish coming at Harbour Town 4 appearances back. 2021 saw Cameron Champ win. More in the mould of a Matthew Wolff – a stellar driving distance golfer – Champ was more obvious than the previous 2 winners. 11th last time out at the John Deere Classic had seen Cameron in 3rd spot heading into Sunday. He landed the 3M Open at 150/1.

It’s relatively early days in terms of being able to correlate courses to TPC Twin Cities, and building your preferences solely on some tenuous links would be ill-advised, but it’s worth remembering that we are in the north of the United States. Matthew Wolff, since his win has popped up in Detroit (Michigan) at the Rocket Mortgage Classic birdiefest where he shot -20/268 to finish 2nd behind Bryson DeChambeau. DeChambeau of course finished runner-up here in 2019 when we were on-board at 16/1, tied in fact with Collin Morikawa. Now Bryson and Collin are both Muirfield Village winners, with Bryson also winning his first ever PGA Tour title at Deere Run in 2017. Collin went on to finish 4th at Deere Run, the week after his runner-up finish here at TPC Twin Cities.

Another player you can throw into this mix is Adam Hadwin. 4th and 6th here in his 2 appearances at the 3M Open, he has also finished 4th in Detroit. The Canadian has always been the sort who likes low scoring, so 8th at Deere Run in 2016, plus 4th (2019) and 6th (2021) at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, is also interesting, especially on the basis that Bryson DeChambeau won the 2018 Shriners Open and has another 3 top-8 finishes their in the Las Vegas desert suburbs.

How does this translate to Michael Thompson? Well you have to dig a little with the Arizona man, but Michael does have 8th and 14th place finishes at Muirfield Village. 12th at Deere Run fits and there’s also a 13th place finish at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. It’s not emboldened correlating form, but it’s there. Michael also has a top-10 finish at Colonial on his CV, which again fits nicely with Morikawa (2nd 2020), DeChambeau (3rd 2020) and Adam Hadwin (5th 2015, 8th 2021).

Cameron Champ was 11th at Deere Run the outing before he won this and had also finished 12th at the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic emboldening that correlating course line of enquiry, especially as he was also 2nd at Detroit Golf Club in 2019 going into the weekend. 14th at Colonial (2020) also links very nicely.

My Final 3M Open Tips Are As Follows

Sahith Theegala 2pts EW 25/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

I always think of Kenny Perry as a great marker for TPC Twin Cities. He won the 3M Championship here on the Champions Tour across 2014, 2015 and 2018 – he was also 2nd (2011), 3rd (2012), 7th (2013) and 7th (2017) here in Minnesota. Safe to say he liked the track!

Although the course has been lengthened with promotion to the PGA Tour, to all intents and purposes TPC Twin Cities still plays the same, so a look at Perry’s PGA Tour CV is always of interest. A winner of 12 Tour titles, the Kentuckian was a 3-time winner at Muirfield Village (1991, 2003, 2008) and 2-time winner at Colonial (2003, 2005). Wins also came at PGA West (1995), TPC Deere Run (2008), TPC Scottsdale (2008) and TPC River Highlands (2009).

Sahith Theegala has now played in 40 PGA Tour events and 2022 has seen the talented 24 year-old Californian jump into the limelight as a precocious talent. His result footprint is also pretty telling, when you compare to the aforementioned Mr Perry. 3rd at TPC Scottsdale in February, 5th at Muirfield Village in June, Sahith finished 2nd at TPC River Highlands and naturally was tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele standing on the 72nd tee. Undoubtedly his best results have come on “Perry tracks” and it’s interesting to note that he’s already developed a partiality for the mid-west as he’s also finished 4th at Ohio State University Golf Club last year on the Korn Ferry Tour, as well as his 5th at “Jack’s Place.”

Since his painful near miss at The Travelers, Theegala has gone on to finish 16th at the John Deere Classic and 34th at his first ever Open Championship. The mark of the player was that he was a stunning 8th going into Saturday on his first visit to St Andrews. He ranks 7th in my 8-week Strokes Gained tracker for Current Form and must be relishing a visit to the 3M Open this week, where a weak field offers up a great opportunity to grab his maiden Tour title. RESULT: MC

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Cam Davis 2pts EW 25/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

We were on-board Cam Davis at the John Deere Classic a few weeks back and he delivered a part each-way return with a T8. Last week he went on to finish 6th at the Barracuda Championship, with the Australian clearly in hot form.

Inconsistent over the course of a season, Cam tends to have a history that lends itself well to the 3M Open challenge this week. A streaky scorer, 8th at PGA National (2020); 3rd at PGA West (2021); 1st at Detroit Golf Club (2021); 3rd at Harbour Town (2022) and 7th at Colonial Country Club relate nicely from a correlating course perspective. His Rocket Mortgage victory, which he defends next week, came in neighbouring Michigan, with a -18/270 total and his 3rd place at The American Express last year also saw him go low.

With Cam Smith’s St Andrews victory fresh in the mind, we have seen Australian and South African Tour pros inspired as a nationality by others success and Davis undoubtedly still has a shot at qualifying for Mark Immelman’s International Presidents Cup team. Ranked at 73 in the OWGR Cam has a chance, but needs big results now! And TPC Twin Cities is undoubtedly a track that fits Davis’s eye. 28th here last year, he was 12th the year before (2020), actually going into Sunday in 6th spot, arriving with immediate form of MC-MC-MC-MC. Has a great chance in my opinion. RESULT: T16

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Chris Gotterup 1pt EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

Chris Gotterup is next up for me. The reigning Jack Nicklaus Award winner out of the University of Oklahoma, in March Gotterup contended as an amateur en route to a 7th place finish at the Puerto Rico Open.

Playing on sponsors exemptions – think Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa here in 2019 – Gotterup has hit the ground running. 43rd at the U.S. Open, 35th at the Travelers, Chris was 4th at the John Deere Classic. Rested after the MC debacle at the Barbasol Championship which he clearly never wanted to play at, Gotterup still very much has a crack at Special Temporary PGA Tour Membership, where he needs to hit 287 FedEx Cup points – he has around 60% of that total already.

Long off the tee and excellent from Tee to Green, I think TPC Twin Cities will suit this week. RESULT: T31

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Wyndham Clark 1pt EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

In Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ we have a couple of 3M Open winners who are extremely long off the tee. In reality, any form of player type can win here – that much is obvious with Michael Thompson being the polar opposite off Wolff and Champ – but I like the idea of having some bombers on-side this week.

Wyndham Clark went well here in 2019 and has been playing much better golf of late. 10 made cuts in his last 13 appearances is excellent stuff and includes 10th at the Zurich team event, 7th at the Canadian Open and 16th at the Scottish Open. He even made the cut at the Open Championship last week on the firm and fast links of St Andrews, where he drove the ball well plus ranked in and around the top 30 for Tee to Green.

A bomber who sits in the top 30 season statistic for Strokes Gained Putting interests me this week. 5th here in 2019, he also has top 20 finishes across PGA West (18th – 2019, 13th – 2022), Colonial (20th – 2021), TPC River Highlands (15th – 2019), Detroit Golf Club (17th – 2019) and TPC Summerlin (13th – 2020), which work well for me from a correlating course perspective. RESULT: T38

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Callum Tarren 1pt EW 110/1 (8EW, 1/5*) with Bet365

Callum Tarren has shown plenty of late and still sits outside the all-important top 125 in FedEx Cup standings. That opportunity to grab full playing privileges looked like a pipe dream for huge chunks of this season. 7 MCs and a WD in his early PGA Tour starts isn’t a recipe for success, but the County Durham, 31 year-old has been a lot stronger over recent months. 5th at the Puerto Rico Open was the turning point and since then a top-7 on the Korn Ferry in mid-April has been the platform for 7 pay-cheques across his last 10 PGA Tour starts.

An opening round 67 at the Brookline U.S. Open was an undoubted highlight and Tarren held on for 31st place at the toughest Major of 2022. That as you would understand bred confidence and an opening 67 at the Travelers was noteworthy and the pre-cursor for a super outing at the John Deere Classic. 68-65-65 at TPC Deere Run powered Callum to 5th place after 54 holes, where a 70 on Sunday saw him cash $248,500 and 95 precious FedEx Cup points. For reference Tarren ranked 16th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 15th for Strokes Gained Putting in Illinois.

22nd last week at the Barracuda included a couple of top 10 on the day scoring rounds on Thursday and Saturday. Plus, on a course where Wolff and Champ have been champion, I like the fact that Tarren is an out and out bomber, ranking in the top 20 for Driving Distance on Tour this season.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:00BST 18.7.22 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.