Paul Casey is the one golfer everyone is overlooking at the 3M Open
Tommy Fleetwood is about to make his return to competitive play at the 3M Open this week. While he’ll be in the spotlight at TPC Twin Cities, another Englishman, Paul Casey, may be getting overlooked at this stop on the PGA Tour schedule.
Casey is 27th in the Official World Golf Rankings, but his 2020 season has been disappointing. He’s made the cut in eight of nine events, and has four Top 25 finishes, but has taken a big step back from 2019. By this time last year, Casey had a win under his belt. He would go on to have seven Top 10 finishes while earning more than $4.2 million in prize money.
Casey has the fifth best outright odds to win the 3M Open this week.
3M Open 2020 - Winner
Thu, July 23 2020, 11:50 AM
Johnson, Koepka, and Fleetwood have stolen most of the headlines
Few people are talking about Casey heading into this weekend. Instead, much of the chatter has focused on Dustin Johnson, who is the favorite at the 3M Open and looking for redemption after a rough showing last weekend at the Memorial Tournament. Observers have also been focused on Tommy Fleetwood, who is making his return, and Matthew Wolff, who is back at the scene of his first PGA Tour win.
Upon taking a quick glance at Casey’s statistics for this season, the first thought that comes to mind is this is a player that should be posting better scores and better tournament results.
When it comes to driving accuracy, Casey is ranked 32nd on tour. He is ninth in strokes gained off the tee, and 17th in strokes gained tee to green. He’s ninth in strokes gained approach the green, and 15th in greens in regulation at 70.9%.
Casey has struggled on the green
The smoking crater in his game has been on the green with the putter.
Around or on the green has never been a strong suit for Casey, but it’s been particularly nasty this year. He ranks 195th in strokes gained putting at -.635, and it isn’t much better in strokes gained around the green, which measures a player’s performance on shots from within 30 yards from the edge of the green. He is 209th on tour.
While his game off the tee and his ball striking has been mostly solid, efficiency around the green has slowed his game down.
Those numbers might drive some bettors away, and that’s understandable. If the short game struggles – and it doesn’t matter who you are – it becomes difficult over the course of four rounds to win a tournament or get into contention.
Casey's experience shouldn't be overlooked
But Casey has experience winning on tour. A number of key statistics show a player that should have better results this year. He has the ability to get into contention, now it’s just a matter of putting it together through all four days.
His ball striking ability may be what gives his putter the opportunity to heat up this weekend.