Two weeks before going over the pond for The Open Championship, the PGA Tour continues its Midwest swing. This week, golfers head to Blaine, Minn., for the inaugural 3M Open. This tournament replaces the 3M Championship, a staple on the PGA Tour Champions circuit over the last 26 years. Now, TPC Twin Cities will host Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, and some of the Tour’s best for four days of exciting, low-scoring golf.
TPC Twin Cities, much like Detroit Golf Club last week, will be one of the easier courses to play on Tour. It will play as a Par-71, stretching 7,468 yards through Minnesota’ natural forest landscape. There are some water hazards and bunkers throughout the course, but not an overwhelming amount by any means. And with bigger-than-average Bentgrass greens, golfers should have no trouble putting up great rounds at a course known for low scores.
Here are some of the golfers to keep an eye on this week, starting with the big names before getting to a few sleepers.
Brooks Koepka – 8/1
As the number one golfer in the world according to the OWGR, it makes sense that Koepka leads the field this week. He is Mr. Major and someone who will be heavily viewed as a contender at The Open Championship in a couple of weeks.
There is some question regarding his performance in non-majors, but obviously, the talent is there. It’s mostly a question of how much effort Koepka puts in.
Jason Day – 10/1
Day has struggled with inconsistency for a lot of the year, in large part due to a nagging back injury. Although he has now gone 14 months without a win, he has put up six T10 finishes, including a T8 in his last tournament at the Travelers Championship. He’s not a bomber off the tee, but Day can dazzle with the putter and should be able to make it to the weekend and potentially make some noise.
Hideki Matsuyama – 10/1
As inconsistent as golfers like Day have been, the opposite rings true for Matsuyama. It has been nearly a year since he last missed a cut, and he has five straight finishes T25 or better dating back to the AT&T Byron Nelson. Ranking fourth in SG: tee-to-green and sixth in total strokes gained makes Hideki a logical candidate to succeed in Minnesota.
Bryson DeChambeau – 14/1
With a course like this, where big drives will get rewarded, and birdies will be flying on each hole, DeChambeau fits that profile to a tee. He is among the Tour’s best in total driving and birdie average, and shouldn’t have to worry too much about approach shots that have resulted in him struggling. DeChambeau can absolutely go on a run and win this week.
Rory Sabbatini – 30/1
There’s perhaps no golfer coming into this week that’s on more of a roll than Sabbatini. The 43-year-old earned his fourth T6 or better finish last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing T3 in a low-scoring contest. He put up four straight rounds in the 60s, making that 39 rounds of under-70 this season, the second-best mark on the Tour. It’s hard to argue with that momentum.
Keegan Bradley – 40/1
Bradley is exceptional off the tee, ranking sixth on Tour in total driving. The question is whether he’ll be able to putt, as well as whether he puts four good rounds together in a row. He did the latter a couple of weeks ago, finishing T2 at the Travelers Championship. Ball-striking will be rewarded already at this course, and if he can take advantage of inviting greens, he could secure the victory.
Talor Gooch – 100/1
A real underdog, Gooch had a decent showing last week and finished T17. While he is a little bit wild on his drives, he is exceptional at his approaches and recoveries. He is also among the best at birdie average and greens in regulation, ranking in the top 12 in both. If there is a wild card pick to win similar to Nate Lashley from last week, Gooch may be your guy.
Many other golfers present excellent cases to win. But I’m going with Keegan Bradley to build off of his last outing, make some putts, and win the first-ever 3M Open. The first round tees off Thursday morning in Blaine.