The 2020 3M Open will see Matthew Wolff try to defend his 2019 title in the inaugural running of the event at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. The tournament’s expected to have the weakest field since the PGA Tour returned to play, creating plenty of value in the pricing. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are the top two players in attendance at fourth and sixth, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking. We looked at the best betting picks here and below, we’ll make our DraftKings DFS picks for the 3M Open.
Tommy Fleetwood will play his first event since the PGA Tour paused for the COVID-19 pandemic. At No. 12 in the OWGR, he’s the third-best golfer in attendance while preparing for next week’s World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational or the 2020 PGA Championship set for Aug. 6-9. Due to the upcoming Tour schedule, there have already been several notable withdrawals from the 3M Open. The heavily-skewed field now sees some extremely top-heavy prices with great values in the middle and value tiers.
The course: TPC Twin Cities
TPC Twin Cities will be a welcome relief for all in the field who played the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club last week. Jack Nicklaus took it upon himself to eliminate the game’s longest hitters and largely wiped out the low scores we’ve seen since play resumed with the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Another scoring fest is on hand this week. Each of the 73 players to make the cut and complete all four rounds last year finished at least 3-under par. Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau, and Collin Morikawa each finished at least minus-20. Wolff’s eagle on the finishing 18th hole gave him the one-stroke victory over DeChambeau and Morikawa at 21-under par. Eighteen golfers broke 70 in all four rounds last year.
The course measures 7,468 yards and plays to a par 71 with Bentgrass greens and 27 water hazards. Thirteen holes played below par a year ago, including all three par 5s and three of four par 3s. The easiest hole was the 593-yard, par-5 12th at a scoring average of 4.445. The most difficult was the 502-yard, par-4 ninth at an average of 4.279 strokes. Ten holes had at least one eagle scored with the 12th giving up 15 eagles and the 596-yard, par-5 18th surrendering 19.
Key stats to consider for your 3M Open DFS picks
The key stats for the 2020 3M Open and TPC Twin Cities are Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Strokes Gained: Approach, Birdies or Better Percentage, Par 4 Performance, and Par 5 Performance. Eight of the top 11 in Driving Distance and six of the top 10 in Driving Accuracy finished in the top 25 in 2019. Just five of the 11 entrants who gained at least 1.50 SG: Putting last year finished in the top 25.
When considering your 3M Open DFS picks, last week’s results need to be taken with a grain of salt. The 2020 Memorial Tournament ranks No. 1 on Tour with a Strength of Field rating of 803. The Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage round out the top three in 2020 with ratings of 713 and 712, respectively. The 2019 3M Open ranked 34th out of 49 events with a rating of 255. The 2020 SOF rating will be much closer to that number than the 2020 Memorial. Wolff won this event as a +12500 longshot in his third tournament as a professional last year.
3M Open lineup building strategies
Noting Wolff’s win and last year’s leaderboard in a weak field, fantasy lineup managers will be able to leave plenty of salary on the table this week. Not spending up to the $50,000 salary cap has helped in creating a unique lineup and securing a top finish in the large Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments like the Millionaire Make since play resumed.
Last week’s top prize in the Milly Maker was split between two users with two different lineups, but both spent to the cap. Both lineups featured Rahm at 19.8% ownership, Tony Finau (11.4%), and Xander Schauffele (19.2%) while varying with the other three picks. Runner-up finisher Ryan Palmer was the lowest-owned golfer from either lineup at just 1.1% ownership. That same lineup also included 2019 champion and the highest-owned golfer of the week, Patrick Cantlay, at 26.1% ownership. He fired a Sunday round of 79 to finish T-32 with just 60.50 fantasy points.
3M Open DFS Picks: Ownership
Along with Cantlay, Abraham Ancer (21.84%) and Tiger Woods (20.88%) were also in more than 20% of lineups in the Millionaire Maker last week. A total of 22 golfers were in at least 10% of lineups. That second number is likely to drop this week with the top-heavy field, while ownership for the top group is likely to rise. Johnson, Koepka, Finau, and Wolff are good bets to be the highest-owned golfers as DFS lineup managers focus on pedigree and also try to use the full salary allowance.
For this reason, I’ll be fading each of them in my picks this week. I’ll also avoid many of last week’s top finishers. The course, conditions, and scores were just far too different from what we’ll see at TPC Twin Cities. Focus instead on statistical performance this season and especially since the midseason pause. Be cautious with course history with only one year of data from a weak field. Experience can be used as a differentiator when looking at the value tier.
2020 3M Open DFS picks
Top Tier: $11.5K – $8K
Tommy Fleetwood $10,500
Fleetwood is fourth by the DraftKings’ salaries and by the odds to win the 3M Open at DraftKings Sportsbook (+1700). The 12th-ranked golfer in the OWGR will tee it up for the first time since a missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational which came on the heels of a third-place finish in a strong field at The Honda Classic.
He’s a good pivot off of the top three golfers by salary while also offering $1,000 in savings from Johnson. He’s 10th on Tour this season with 0.610 SG: Off-the-Tee per round through 10 measured rounds. He had four top 10s on the PGA Tour last season, including his runner-up finish at The Open Championship, and he won the European Tour’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Lucas Glover $9,400
Glover ranks seventh in Birdie Average, 10th in Scoring Average, and 11th in SG: Tee-to-Green since the PGA Tour’s restart, and he’s 26th on Tour this season in SG: Approach. His T-38 last week in the tough conditions at the Memorial was his worst finish in five events since play resumed. He tied for seventh last year with a Sunday round of 9-under 62 to shoot up the leaderboard.
Erik Van Rooyen $8,800
Van Rooyen has two missed cuts in four events since play resumed, but he also has a T-21 at the RBC Heritage and a T-22 at the Memorial. He enters the week ranked 43rd in the OWGR and is the seventh-best player in attendance, but he’s just 11th by DK salary as a potential value. He’s T-20 on Tour this season with an average of 0.539 SG: Approach through 20 measured rounds.
The South African was just 0.79% owned for last week’s T-22 finish at the Memorial, according to FanShare Sports.
Luke List $8,400
List rebounded from a missed cut at the Workday Charity Open to tie for 10th in the much tougher conditions last week. He’s now six weeks removed from a win at the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass and will face a more similar field than he saw in his last five PGA Tour events.
He missed the cut last year while losing 1.00 strokes per round putting, according to Data Golf. He averaged 0.43 SG: Putting last week and enters in much better form with the flat stick. The 118th-ranked player in the world is averaging 0.40 SG: Off-the-Tee and 0.25 SG: Approach through 20 total events in 2020.
Mid Tier: $7.9K – $7K
Sepp Straka $7,900
Straka’s salary has risen from $7,000 last week following his 61st-place finish at Muirfield Village GC. He finished plus-11 in tough conditions last week, but he shot 10-under or better in his previous three events in which he made the cut. He posted 103.0 fantasy points and finished T-8 in a weaker field and better conditions at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Will Gordon $7,700
Gordon will play for just the second time since his breakout T-3 finish at 17-under par at the Travelers Championship. He missed the cut at the RMC the following week but has taken the last two weeks off. He tied for 21st at the Farmers Insurance Open and 20th at the Puerto Rico Open and has success on these longer courses against more level playing fields. His highest DFS salary ever will help keep ownership low at a course where he fits well.
Branden Grace $7,500
Grace, ranked 79th in the OWGR, is coming off disappointing missed cuts at the Memorial, RMC, and Travelers Championship. He tied for ninth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February in a more comparable field to what’s in attendance this week. He’s 34th on Tour in SG: Approach and T-54 in Par 4 Performance.
Emiliano Grillo $7,100
Grillo will benefit from the easier putting surfaces this week after losing another 2.46 SG: Putting per round last week. He’s 19th on Tour this season in SG: Approach, and he’s averaging 0.56 SG: Tee-to-Green and 0.15 SG: Off-the-Tee in 2020. He tied for third on a more similar course at the Puerto Rico Open with less emphasis on putting.
Value Tier: $6.9K and Lower
Keith Mitchell $6,900
Mitchell snapped a streak of three straight missed cuts with an impressive T-22 finish last week. He tied for 66th here last year while gaining 1.52 strokes per round putting but also 0.33 strokes per round off-the-tee. His 320.1 yards per drive last year ranked second in the field over four rounds and a hotter putter could keep him in contention.
Josh Teater $6,400
Teater has played just three PGA Tour events with a top finish of T-62 at the RMC since his runner-up placing at the Puerto Rico Open. He’s a decent low-ownership flier at a similar course.
Derek Ernst $6,300
Ernst is making the jump back to the PGA Tour after running up three straight finishes of T-12 or better on the KFT. The former Wells Fargo Championship winner finished just T-52 in Puerto Rico in February but take a chance on his strong form on the secondary tour as he tries to take the next step once again.