Can Matthew Wolff defend his title at Twin Cities? Our tipster picks out a handful of players who says he won't
After a thrilling week at Jack’s place the PGA Tour moves west to to Twin Cities for the 3M Open. The big guns, including newly-crowned World No 1 Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson, have opted to skip this week, but Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Tommy Fleetwood – playing on the PGA Tour for the first time since its return – are here.
Venue: TPC Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Date: July 23-26, 2020
Course stats: Par 72; 7,114 yards
Course summary: As previous host of the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour for 17 years, this course has a much richer history than this event. Three of the holes – 7, 10, and 15 – are driveable at least once during the week, if the players can navigate the ball over the narrow tree-lined fairways. Water hazards provide some protection for the smaller than average greens here, but low scoring is expected.
Purse: $6.9 million
Defending champion: Matthew Wolff (-21)
3M Open TV coverage
Thursday: Featured group coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 2pm (Red Button from 3pm), Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Friday: Featured group coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 12.45pm (Red Button from 1.30pm), Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 7.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 5.30pm
Sunday: Featured group coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm, Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 6pm
3M Open betting: Each-way tips
Sam Burns (50/1 with bet365) has had a steady restart to his PGA Tour campaign, with two top 20 finishes in three events. An impressive T17 at the Workday Open suggests he may be overpriced in this weaker field, especially as he ranks 28th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 29th in SG: Putting. Some useful course form is also encouraging, with a T7 finish in this event last year. In what is one of the quieter weeks for the PGA Tour, Burns definitely represents great each-way value.
Erik Van Rooyen (40/1) has started to announce himself stateside, after impressing on the European Tour, and a strong finish in a talented field at the Memorial further strengthened his appeal moving into this event. The South African, who attended the University of Minnesota, will feel right at home here and I’m sure will be eager to challenge for his first PGA Tour win. His form last week sets him up well for this, ranking 2nd in SG: Approach and 3rd in GIR at Memorial. If he can replicate this form, and get the putter hot, Van Rooyen can challenge come Sunday.
Harris English (35/1) continues to prove that he is one of the most consistent golfers on the PGA Tour. In 15 starts so far in this disjointed season, English has posted nine top-20 finishes, including five in the top 10. Off the back of an impressive performance at a difficult Memorial, English ranks 25th for SG: Off-the-Tee, 29th for SG: Approach and 30th for SG: Putting. His consistency makes him an easy selection in this weaker field, where it would not be a surprise to see him convert his run of great finishes into a win.
3M Open betting: The long shot
I am going to head back to Troy Merritt (80/1) here, mainly because he is overpriced again. After a good start to his round on Thursday at Memorial, Merritt fell away and eventually missed the cut. However, I am not put off by this as he has an 8th and a 22nd place finish in his two previous events. Last week was also an extremely challenging test and this should be simpler to navigate. Merritt is a very capable putter, ranking 25th in SG: Putting, and has some positive course form with a T7 finish in last year’s event. At a big price, in a weak field, I fancy Merritt to sneak in for at least a place at a big price.
3M Open betting: Top tip
Tommy Fleetwood (16/1) is an interesting contender in a somewhat weaker field here. Although he hasn’t been seen stateside since before the pandemic hit, Fleetwood has now travelled to the USA in preparation for the PGA Championship. Despite arriving without any recent form, his three top-20 finishes before the break are encouraging, including when 3rd at the Honda Classic. The Englishman also fits this course and the challenge perfectly. His ability to be accurate off the tee, and consistently hit greens in regulation, will set up plenty of opportunities for birdies at what will surely be a low scoring event. Fleetwood certainly has a great chance here as one of the favourites, and can mount a strong challenge on his return if he can shake off the rust from his long break from competitive golf.
For more prices, visit bet365.