GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of 3M Open this week.
3M Open | PGA Tour | 23rd-26th July 2020 | Sky Sports
The post-lockdown PGA Tour continues on with the first major now firmly in sight but before then we've a birdie-fest in Michigan followed-up by a much more exciting WGC tournament next week.
Last time out, Jon Rahm clinched us a 22/1 winner though it wasn't without an excruciating final round as the big-hitting Spaniard nearly threw it all away despite holding an eight-shot lead going into the backline. Tony Finau also collapsed on Sunday with a +6, but he still scraped in a place for us, too.
Rahm is now the OWGR #1 but he like many aren't teeing it up at the 3M Open. The biggest names are DJ, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood.
- TPC Twin Cities
- Par 71 – 7,498 yards
- Arnold Palmer design
- Parklands track
- Has long been a course on the Champions Tour
- Water everywhere
There's not much to go off given the PGA Tour has only seen one edition of the tournament, though Matthew Wolff picked up his maiden title with a -21 here last year.
That tells us that it's a low-scoring course where a combination of bombers, ball-strikers and birdie-makers should thrive.
Interestingly, the last FIVE winners on the PGA Tour since the restart have all been fairly low-priced, all being 40/1 or under. Whether that's something to consider here, I am not so sure but it's an intriguing trend nonetheless. It suggests that the elite or form players have come to fruition.
Sam Burns 45/1 (William Hill)
I wanted to kickstart this column putting my weight behind Erik Van Rooyen as he opened up at a juicy 55/1 but unsurprisingly he's been tipped up across the board and his odds have plummeted. Instead, I'll take what's left of Sam Burns at 45/1 (William Hill
He's in decent nick having notched three straight top-30s with a best of 17th at Jack's place two weeks ago. These were all much stronger fields, too. He also managed a T7th around this track last year which shows he has the game to contend here. Course plus current form gets a big fat checkmark next to it. Burns is also 10th for Driving Distance this season, so he should definitely thrive on this course.
Henrik Norlander (60/1 William Hill)
Another player bang in-form is Swede Henrik Norlander, who appears to be one of many Scandinavian talents emerging on Tour. T12 in Chicago a month ago is most appealing given this week's KFT-like test but he finished T6th on Sunday in what was a star-studded field, one that was considered major-worthy.
He's won twice on the KFT which further bolsters his claims here as it proves he's got a winning pedigree, a bonus given KFT that tour is often a weekly birdie fest.
Troy Merritt (70/1 William Hill)
Troy Merritt was also T7th round this track last year. He missed the cut at the Memorial last time out, but he had been in nice form, so maybe a return to an easy course will suit his chances. And we're getting him at very tasty odds.
T8 in Chicago catches the eye just like Norlander above whilst he managed T22 at Jack's place before it was toughened up for that beta major. He was inside the top-10 on Tour for Birdie Average for the 2019 season which shows he can rise to a ‘test' like this one and whilst he isn't the longest off-the-tee, the fairways have narrowed this year so his accuracy will be benefitted more – even if it's just a smidge.
Wyndham Clark (80/1 William Hill)
Someone who finished better than both Merritt and Burns at Twin Cities last year was Wyndham Clark with a T5th – yet he's the longest odds. This is because he's been in poor form with two missed cuts and one withdrawal. I'll back him to turn it around here at very tasty odds of 80/1.
After seeing Matthew Wolff win last year, Clark is very much in the same mould. Last year he ranked 13th for Birdie Average and 5th for Driving Distance on the PGA Tour. He's also nails with the flatstick, so if everything comes together, there's no reason he can't contend this week.
Brandon Hagy (150/1 SkyBet)
I'm going to throw a few pennies at a long-shot in Brandon Hagy. He's one of the biggest hitters on Tour, ranking 7th for Driving Distance. He's also not far behind Burns for Birdie or Better % either. He's not played much this year but when he has, he's shown that big-hitting talent as well as his solid putting. He was T39 last time out on Chicago.
Furthermore, a T28 at the API a few years ago could provide a clue into him taking a liking to Arnie's courses. In addition, a few have put up x2 Canadian Open winner Jhonattan Vegas. Those victories were at Glen Abbey where Hagy has his PGA Tour best T5. He's worth a shot at 150/1 (SkyBet