The best prop bets for the 3M Open
Fresh off the back of Collin Morikawa’s exceptional display in the U.K. to win the Open Championship, the PGA Tour heads to TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota for the 3M Open. It’s just the third renewal of the is event, but the honor roll is already in good shape with Matthew Wolff holding off Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau in 2019, before Michael Thompson won by two strokes here 12 months ago.
The Arnold Palmer designed course had been used on the Champions Tour, and the golfing pensioners were tearing it up with some unbelievable scores before hometown boy Tom Lehman came in to help design a tougher test. The fairways are a little narrower, water comes into play regularly, and there are plenty of bunkers to avoid, but the winner here should still be expected to reach close to 20-under-par.
Driving distance and being accurate off the tee doesn’t look hugely important, and it appears you can get away with some poor putting on the dancefloor. The key here is fantastic approach play – so shots gained approaching the green and shots gained tee to green are the main pointers for the week.
Course form is a plus, as is form at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, which seems to collate well. I’m happy enough to dodge anyone who played in the U.K. last weekend. The 16-hour trip between courses does not sound appealing, and there may be an understandable lack of enthusiasm for a run-of-the-mill event off the back of the year’s final major.
3M Open 2021
Sun, July 25 2021, 9:00 PM
Top 30 Finish: Doug Ghim (+125)
Ghim is one of the players who didn’t feature last week and therefore doesn’t have the Open hangover. His last appearance was a solid top 20 in the John Deere Classic in which he ranked second for shots gained approaching the green and sixth for shots gained tee to green. Ghim also ranks 16th and 25th respectively for those stats on Tour across the season, so he is clearly capable of mixing it with the very best.
The 25-year-old posted his best finish of 2020 in this event last year, ending up 18th after a solid four rounds, which closed with a five-under-par round of 66.
Ghim ranks 11th on Tour for greens in regulation, and his dialed-in irons and style of play should suit this test. His putting is always going to be a concern, but hopefully that shouldn’t hinder him from racking up a top 30 finish.
Top American Player (1-4): Matthew Wolff (+560)
Matthew Wolff was a huge longshot when he won the 3M open in its inaugural year, and although he hasn’t added to that PGA Tour win in the last two years, this looks like a solid bet for him to be in the top 4 American players this week.
As well as winning in 2019, he put in a solid performance here 12 months ago when he finished 12th after opening with a superb round of 65. He took some time off this year between April and June to focus on his mental health, but returned for the U.S. Open and performed superbly to finish 15th after being in the mix all week.
Last time out, Wolff was well down the field in the Rocket Mortgage, finishing 58th, and while that looks bad on paper, he ranked 18th in the field for his shots gained approaching the green. His putting needs to improve, but his short game is up to scratch, and hopefully this course can inspire him again.
Matchbet: Tony Finau to beat Patrick Reed (-114)
Finau vs. Reed looks set to be a really good head-to-head matchbet, and I’m siding with Finau to come out on top. He went through a worrying patch of missed cuts recently, but bounced back by finishing 15th in the Open Championship. Reed missed the cut in the U.K., and while that means he got back to the States earlier, there are enough reasons to side with Finau.
Finau’s game is made for TPC Twin Cities. He ranks 29th in shots gained approaching the green and 10th for shots gained tee to green on Tour this season. Reed, meanwhile, ranks 42nd and 29th respectively. Finau finished 23rd on debut here, and followed it up by finishing third in the event last year. Reed finished 23rd on debut here in 2019 (tied with Finau), but decided against playing it last year.
Reed’s missed cut comes off the back of a disappointing 32nd in the Rocket Mortgage classic, and he’s just dropped off a bit after top 10s in the Masters, Wells Fargo Championship, and Memorial Tournament between May and June.
Top 30 Finish: Hank Lebioda (+138)
Florida’s Hank Lebioda hasn’t played at TPC Twin Cities before, and while I’d prefer someone with course form to complete my prop bets, you simply can’t ignore the hot hand. Lebioda racked up two top 20 finishes in May in the Valspar Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson but has stepped it up another notch in the last month. He finished fifth in the Travelers Championship, fourth in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and then eighth in the John Deere Classic.
He ranks 18th for greens in regulation on Tour this year, and 13th for proximity to the hole, which gives you an idea of how he will attack the pins this week. That strategy paid off for Wolff two years ago, and Lebioda can make it pay again here.
He has had a week off to refresh, and now will look to add to that hat-trick of top 10 finishes with a big performance in Minnesota.