3M Open: Fantasy picks, power rankings and analysis
The PGA Tour has enjoyed incredibly strong fields since golf resumed in mid-June at Colonial. With an unprecedented stretch run of elite events — World Golf Championships, FedEx Cup playoffs and major championships ahead in the next two months or so, the best in the world were bound to skip a week at some point.
This would be it, The 3M Open.
Dustin Johnson is the only winner since the Tour resumed who is playing this week. And he shot approximately one million in two rounds last week at Muirfield Village after winning in his previous start at the Travelers. So, go figure.
The 156 golfers arriving in lovely Minnesota will find a TPC Twin Cities course that measures 7,468 yards, is a par 71 and features some of the most generous fairways and easiest greens to hit on Tour. For example, the average greens in regulation percentage on the Tour is 63 percent. Last year at Twin Cities it was 74 percent. The players also found the fairway 66 percent of the time compared to 61 percent on average. The par 5s present ripe opportunities for birdies and eagles because the bombers can fire away with little concern of finding trouble.
Matthew Wolff won here in thrilling fashion last year at 21 under.
This is an interesting field in that many of the players who have performed the best since the restart aren’t here. So there are opportunities here for guys that desperately need points to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
As always, good luck. Feel free to post questions below.
Golfer power rankings
25. Patrick Rodgers – Ranks third in the field in SG: Putting on bentgrass greens over the last 24 rounds, per Fantasy National. Coming off a top-20 finish at Memorial.
24. Sam Ryder – Over the last 24 rounds on bentgrass greens, he’s ninth in the field in SG: Putting and 24th in SG: Approach. Posted a top 10 at the Workday Charity Open, thriving in every area but short game.
23. Dustin Johnson – We’re not sure what happened to the former world No. 1 last week but we’ve chosen to write it off as one of those weeks that started poorly and turned out worse. His short game and putting have been bad on bentgrass of late.
22. Chad Campbell – Hasn’t made a cut since a top 10 at Houston in October and failed to play the weekend in his only start since the Tour’s resumption (Colonial). So, why not? He hasn’t forgotten how to play.
21. Sam Burns – Having a lovely summer with three consecutive top-30 finishes and has made six of seven cuts dating to L.A. Struggled with iron play earlier in the season but looks like those woes are behind him.
20. Will Gordon – Enjoyed a life-changing week at Hartford and it’s obvious he has tons of game and is brimming with confidence. Unafraid to go low and rounds in the mid-60s will be required at TPC Twin Cities.
19. Charley Hoffman – Finished seventh in the Workday Charity Open, one of the highlights in what’s been an inconsistent season. Has gained strokes in approach-the-green in last five tournaments he’s played.
18. Doc Redman – Putted terribly at the Memorial to snap a streak of three consecutive top 25s. The flat stick has been worrisome all season but he’s been in a groove swinging the club, gaining at least two shots in approach in his last five events.
17. Pat Perez – Been quiet since the restart but has made three of four cuts and gained strokes putting in his last two tournaments. Iron game has been solid and subpar driving won’t be as costly on the generous fairways at TPC-Twin Cities.
16. Cameron Tringale – Missed two of three cuts since the restart but overall his game looks solid from tee-to-green, just hasn’t excelled in any area. It all comes together for Tringale in the Twin Cities.
15. Richy Werenski – Quietly compiling a terrific season on the PGA Tour. Has made the cut in his last five starts and finished 35th at the Workday despite miserable putting. He’s thrived on bentgrass when the fairways are generous and the scores are low.
14. Tommy Fleetwood – Hard to know what to expect from Fleetwood, who is making his first start anywhere since a missed cut at the Honda in March. Still, prior to that he made five cuts in as many starts with four top 25s in 2019-20. He’s world class.
13. Dylan Fritelli – Big week for the South African as he finished top-25 at Memorial and met Jack Nicklaus for the first time. The Golden Bear would surely tell him to cash in while he’s on a hot streak and the average Tour player makes the bulk of his money in five or six tournaments a year.
12. Henrik Norlander – He fell just outside our top 25 rankings last week and made us pay with an outstanding week, finishing sixth for his fourth consecutive made cut since the restart. Emerging as an elite ballstriker.
11. Sepp Straka – Bentgrass greens and calm conditions are a favorable combination for Straka, who has a pair of top-15 finishes in his last three starts. Ballstriking was disappointing at Memorial (T-61) but hot putter should fuel a bounce back week.
10. Matthew Wolff – It’s never easy to defend a title on the PGA Tour, especially in your second year as a pro, however, he’s rolling into town feeling good about his game after a second at the Rocket Mortgage and a 22nd at Memorial.
9. Lucas Glover – Elite ballstriking keeps the former Clemson star cashing checks from week-to-week. Gained strokes on the greens for the third time in four tournaments last week, which is promising. Finished T-7 here last year.
8. Talor Gooch – Missed the cut last week but putted well and finished top 20 at the Workday Charity Open the previous week. These conditions will be similar – favorable for scoring and his game fits well.
7. Jhonnatan Vegas – Marginal iron play, otherwise his game has been solid over the last month. In a good place with the putter and has made seven of the last 10 cuts.
6. Brendon Todd – Top 25s in two of his last three starts. Can get white-hot with the putter at any given moment. Ballstriking has done a 180 degree turnaround in last couple of years since he began working with instructor Bradley Hughes.
5. Troy Merritt – Looking for his second consecutive top 10 at the Twin Cities and rolls into Minnesota feeling good about his game, despite a missed cut at Memorial which can be attributed to poor putting.
4. Russell Henley – Missed the cut here last year, but didn’t play poorly (2 under). Has finished in the top 10 in two of his last four starts. Ballstriking has been terrific all season, is overdue to find the groove on the greens.
3. Harris English – Sticking with the Georgia Bulldogs because English has gained an average of 2.7 strokes putting and 3.5 strokes tee-to-green in his last five tournaments.
2. Carlos Ortiz – He’s comfortable on the leaderboard and on the TPC Twin Cities, contending and finishing top 10 here last year. Ballstriking has been below average in recent weeks but friendly confines and a warm putter will be a good combo this week.
1. Tony Finau – Disappointing final 27 holes for Finau last week but I’m a big fan of his newfound power and he’ll be able to unleash at will on this layout. It’s time for him to add more victories to his career total. This seems like a great place to start. Finished T-23 here a year ago.