This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of Over/Under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one Over and one Under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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Today we'll be focusing on the opening round of the 3M Open in Minnesota, home to the TPC Twin Cities. Let's get right to it!
TPC Twin Cities – 7,467 yards, Par 71
This challenging course has played host to a slew of high-profile events, including PGA and LPGA Tour events, Champions Tour events and a Ryder Cup. As you can see by the yardage, it's one of the longest tests the Tour has faced since the track at Bethpage Black. We'll see a few marquee names in the field this week, but by and large, the field will be dominated by a potpourri of golfers who rarely get airtime.
The course has seen some astronomically low final scores that have sometimes eclipsed 20-under, The length of this layout is contrasted by inviting greens that hold effectively, and it's a pretty straightforward track that is typical with many TPC courses. Again, the course's length is the biggest hurdle, as the Par 3s are on the long side, and one of the Par 5s will only yield eagle opportunities for the longest of golfers. The Par 4s are another story – they come in on the shorter side and will require accuracy from 125-150 yards, which will be one of our vital statistics this week.
Some rain will be coming into the area Wednesday evening, and we could still see some scattered showers on Thursday morning. While the precipitation is expected to be minimal, the early tee times could experience an easier time sticking the greens but will have the handicap of slower rolls of the tee. The course will run faster tee-to-green in the afternoon.
As usual, my overall strategy will be the same as it is every week. Since Overs are usually harder to pinpoint, I'll focus on some of the lower O/U lines on the slate to find my ideal Overs, and locate underperformers in the upper echelon of PrizePicks' offerings. This course will yield some high scores, though. Finding the high guys should be a little easier.
Sungjae Im – 21.5
While Im doesn't check all the statistical boxes in the way I'd like, he does have a few things going for him. For starters, he's now made four straight cuts and performed admirably in the Rocket Mortgage Classic before fading back in the field a bit on Sunday. He's also in the Top 20 on Tour in Par 5 BoB percentage and is also one of the longer hitters on Tour. His iron accuracy is somewhat concerning but I think his showing on the Par 5's could get him to 3-under on Thursday, which will easily catapult him over this line.
Ryan Moore – 21.5
Moore is a guy that doesn't wow you in any particular category, but he's in the Top 50 in almost all of our measurables. He also averages around 2-under in first-round play, which is all we are concerned with today. He is one of the shortest drivers on Tour, so that's going to be a bit of a handicap on at least one of the Par 5s. His iron play is on point though, and that will be handy on the short-to-medium length Par 4s on the course. I think we'll see a lot of guys at 2 and 3-under on Thursday, and Moore has an excellent chance to be in that grouping.
Keegan Bradley – 22.5
Bradley is one of the Tour's best in Round 1 Scoring Average, and he hits the long ball exceptionally well (6th in Total Driving). He doesn't tip the scales in any of the other major categories, but like Moore, he doesn't tank in any of them either. He's also coming off a win at a CVS Charity Event last week and a T2 at the Travelers, so he's in a bit of a zone.
Phil Mickelson – 21.5
You always want to root for Phil, but his recent struggles are well-documented. Still, you can never count Phil out, and this low threshold does expose us to a modicum of risk. He's missed the cut in three of his last five appearances and didn't play particularly well in the two cuts he made, which were in the two previous majors. His early-season win at Pebble Beach is the high point of his season thus far, but there isn't much to grasp on to in the metrics for this week. He does tend to come out of the gate quickly, and he can hit the long ball, but his length hasn't translated to success on the Par 5s (184th in Par 5 Scoring Average). He leads the Tour in Par 4 Birdie or Better Average, but is that enough for a 2-under score?
Brooks Koepka – 24.0
Yes, I am fading the flavor of the year here. Hitting 6-under or lower just isn't done that often, even for a guy who's done it once already in a major and has the metrics to ace almost any course. Aside from that blistering first round in the PGA, he hasn't started hot in any of his events. He does tend to get bored quickly (his words, not mine), so the first round may still hold his attention, but slotting Koepka in the under column is strictly more of a gut call. You can find an argument for a low score with any number of measurables available, and I certainly won't bore you with all of them. Nevertheless, I favor the under.
Patrick Reed – 22.0
Despite a resurgent week at the Rocket Mortgage, I can't buy Reed with confidence, even at this average O/U line. Granted, he doesn't have to do much to get there, but I think his play off the tee will once again get him in trouble. I don't doubt his prowess around the greens, but he isn't in an exploitative position with these forgiving bentgrass surfaces and user-friendly sand traps. Even those with a weaker short game should have no problem with this course. He'd need to roll the rock extremely well to beat this O/U number.