This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Course: TPC Twin Cities (7,431 yards, par 71)
Winner: $1,188,000 and 500 FedExCup points
After an extremely entertaining Open Championship and a thrilling playoff at the Barbasol Championship last week, the PGA Tour heads to Blaine, Minnesota for the third playing of the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities. This season, the 3M Open gets the unenviable date of being between the Open Championship and the Olympics. That has no doubt had an effect on the field strength, but there are still a few horses teeing it up this week. Now world No. 2 Dustin Johnson leads that list, as he tees it up at TPC Twin Cities after a dismal performance in his tournament debut last year that led to a WD. He will be joined by 54-hole Open Championship leader, Louis Oosthuizen, who was unable to close out a major on Sunday yet again. Patrick Reed and Tony Finau make it four players in the top-20 in the OWGR to tee it up in Blaine. Two-time winner this season Stewart Cink, as well as recent champion's Cam Davis and Lucas Glover will also be in the field.
It couldn't have been a better kickoff to the 3M Open becoming an official PGA Tour event back in 2019. The event saw young stars Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa, and Bryson DeChambeau battling all the way down the end. It was an eagle at the 72nd hole that ultimately won Wolff the title. The 2019 NCAA Individual Champion will look for another good showing after deciding to skip the Open Championship last week. The course record is a nine-under-par 62, which was achieved four times during the 2019 playing. Michael Thompson reached the winner's circle for the first time in seven years with his two shot victory over Adam Long in 2020. Both of those men are back in the field as well in 2021.
For many that are trying to secure their place in the FedExCup playoffs, time is really running out as this is the second-to-last full-status event before the cutoff with the Olympics next week and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational/Barracuda Championship the week after. It has been a hot summer in the Twin Cities area and that will continue for the 3M Open this week. Temperatures will be in the mid-90's all four tournament rounds. Rain is not expected to fall, but a passing storm wouldn't be a big surprise at this time of year either. Winds should not be too much of a factor, so the foot needs to be on the accelerator from when players put the tee in the ground on Thursday.
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- SG: Putting
- SG: Off-the-Tee
TPC Twin Cities profiles very similar to a number of the recent courses on this mid-west swing if you will. The name of the game will be hitting a lot of greens and holing putts at a high clip. Last year's champion Michael Thompson led the field in SG: Putting and was T3 in GIR's for the week. The greens are very average in size and the bentgrass surfaces will run around a standard 12.5 feet on the Stimpmeter. This will definitely be an adjustment for those in the field who are coming off the Open at Royal St. George's where green speeds are typically around 10 on the Stimpmeter. The rough is pretty standard stuff as well, as is it trimmed to three-and-a-half inches this week. TPC Twin Cities is not an overly long course, but there is lots of water hazards that can lead to a quick double-bogey for players both off the tees and entering the greens. SG: Off-the-tee and Total driving numbers both have added value this week. With perfect weather on tap, expect the field to do even better than the 69.95 scoring average from last year.
FanDuel Value Picks
Tony Finau ($11,500)
Finau bounced back from a pair of missed cuts with a T15 finish at the Open, showing how versatile his game is. That was one of 13 top-25 finishes in 22 starts this season. Finau has as much experience at TPC Twin Cities as anyone with a T23 in 2019 and a T3 in 2020. All eight of his rounds were in the 60s.
Patrick Reed ($11,300)
I was high on Reed heading into the Open Championship, but things just didn't shake out the way "Captain America" had hoped. You're going to have to make a lot of putts to stay in it this week, and not many have been better in that department than Reed. He ranks eighth in SG: Putting, first in putts per round, second in one-putt percentage, and ninth in three-putt avoidance. Reed scored a T23 here back in 2019 and is sitting eighth on Tour in SG: Total.
Cameron Tringale ($10,900)
With a very shallow top half of the salary board, Tringale still has good value here. He has played in both editions of the 3M Open, including a T3 last year. The 33-year-old finished T32 or better in four of his last five starts. Tringale is very consistent through the bag, ranking 44th in SG: Approach, ninth in scrambling, 21st in SG: Putting, and 16th in scoring average this season.
Cam Davis ($10,100)
Davis showed out very well at the two most recent courses that profile most similar to TPC Twin Cities. He picked up his first career win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and then a week later got off to a hot start at the John Deere Classic before fading on the weekend. Davis also scored a T12 finish at the 3M Open last year. He's prone to make mistakes, but can make up for it in DFS scoring formats by ranking fourth in eagle average and 21st in birdie average. Davis is an extremely long hitter who is starting to show much more touch on and around the greens.
Longer Shots with Value
Emiliano Grillo ($9,900)
Grillo bounced back from a recent dry spell with a T12 showing at the Open Championship. He is a supreme ball striker who should give himself plenty of looks at TPC Twin Cities. Grillo ranks 33rd in SG: Off-the-Tee, 12th in SG: Approach, fifth in GIR percentage, and first in proximity to the hole. The 28-year-old scored a T3 at this event last year behind a 64-65 finish of the weekend.
Hank Lebioda ($9,700)
At courses that ask very similar questions in TPC River Highlands, Detroit Country Club, and TPC Deere Run, Lebioda went T5-T4-T8. He will be looking for another good showing at TPC Twin Cities where he has failed to break 70 just once in eight career rounds. Lebioda is 18th in GIR percentage, 13th in proximity to the hole, third in scrambling, and 24th in SG: Putting.
Charl Schwartzel ($9,300)
Schwartzel has been playing very solid golf for the last handful of months. In fact he has just one finish worse than T26 over his last nine starts, which include a runner-up in NOLA and a T3 at the Byron Nelson. Schwartzel also posted a T3 last year at the 3M Open. He has been very balanced through the bag, but ball striking is the reason he has moved inside the top 70 in the FedExCup standings.
Luke List ($8,900)
List has gotten very close the last couple weeks to finally breaking through and getting that elusive first PGA Tour win with a T4 at the John Deere Classic and a T5 at the Barbasol Championship. He led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green last week at Keene Trace and was fifth in that department at TPC Deere Run. A player that is striking the ball that well is a weapon regardless of how well he is rolling the putter.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
There are only 10 players this week that have a salary in the five-figure range, which is about the lowest I can ever remember. I would avoid Dustin Johnson at $12,200 because he's $600 more than any other player and there has to still be some scar tissue after a very poor showing here before a WD in 2020. I also think it's best to look in other directions than Louis Oosthuizen ($11,600) because of fatigue after leading for much of the Open Championship and letting another major slip by that he had control of. The board is littered with quite a few options in that $8,400-$9,000 range this week that are either in good form or have a game suited for putting up birdies at TPC Twin Cities. Among the options in that range not mentioned above Patton Kizzire ($9,200), Ryan Moore ($8,800), Chris Kirk ($8,700), and Mito Pereira ($8,400) are all others that I have my eye on.