3M PGA Golf Picks
Date: Jul 21–24, 2022
The 3M Open is a professional golf tournament in Minnesota on the PGA Tour, held at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, a suburb north of Minneapolis. Announced by the PGA Tour in June 2018, the tournament debuted in 2019 on July 4–7. Minnesota-based company 3M is the title sponsor of the event.
Players will head to TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, MN for the 3M Open, formerly known as the 3M Championship. TPC Twin Cities is a par 71 that will play around 7,431 yards. One of the calling cards of this course is that there is a TON of water. Water hazards should really only come into play on 9 or 10 of the holes even though players will see water on a few more. TPC Twin Cities routinely ranks among the top 5 courses on tour that see the most balls in the water. As of now the weather looks relatively calm so I think we can expect a winning score around 18 or 19 under.
The rough here tends to play pretty long and so it’s definitely important to hit fairways as the long rough and water are this course’s only defense to low scores. I’m going to look at fairways gained instead of driving distance because many of these holes allow players to club down off the tee and hit irons, especially the longer hitters. These are bentgrass greens and they tend not to be super firm which will allow player’s to be a bit more aggressive hitting into these greens. Greens in Regulation percentage is way up here, which is due in part to the fact that we’ll see a lot of wedges here from 75-125 yards. The other key approach range to look at is 175-200 yards which is over 3% higher here than tour average. These are the shots we’ll see on holes where players choose to dial it back off the tee and play for position/safety.
Strokes Gained: Approach correlates very highly to top finishers here which makes sense considering the course layout favors good ball-strikers. Strokes Gained: Putting is also something that has correlated highly to top finishers. That also makes sense considering we’re likely to see a winning score around 18 or 19 under. Guys are going to have to be hot with the putter in order to win here. That leads us to the next stat, Birdies or Better Gained. We want to target guys who can get hot and string together birdies. We also need guys that can keep it out of the hazards, which is why Bogey Avoidance will make my list of key stats as well. Lastly, the par 3s here play LONG and I do think it is worth taking a look at par 3 scoring 200+ since there are 3 par 3s that fall in this range.
The last 3 winners here were Cameron Champ, Michael Thompson, and Matthew Wolff. What we can take from this is that there may be an advantage here for bombers since Champ and Wolff both fall into that category. I think this advantage plays more into the bombers ability to dial it back off the tee and be more accurate than it does about them having shorter shots into these greens though. Looking at the overall leaderboard though the bomber narrative isn’t as evident so I will take a look at driving distance, but I’ll only be factoring it very slightly into my model.
Something else of note is that Cam Champ went nuts on these greens last year gaining over 8 strokes. Datagolf rates TPC Twin Cities among the least difficult courses for putting on tour. This tells me maybe SG: Putting isn’t as important here because the bad putters will be able to have success, somewhat mitigating the advantage of better putters. Michael Thompson gained over 7 strokes on the greens in his win too, so it seems to support the easiness of putting here. That’s not necessarily the key to winning though as Matthew Wolff won by throwing darts gaining over 7 strokes on approach. I’m putting most of my focus on 175+ yards approach, hitting fairways, and guys who can go low.
SG: Approach w/focus on 175+ yards
Par 3 Scoring 200+ yards
Birdies or Better Gained
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