It was another week where our Last Minute Betting Tips were near but yet so far.
Our 2021 Open picks performed well, with outright selection Louis Oosthuizen, finishing 3rd. The main bet is Webb Simpson starting like a train before producing some erratic golf to finish T19. Our picks at bigger odds, Abraham Ancer finished back in T59 and our long shot Lucas Glover missed the cut. Couple this with week 1 selection Joaquin Niemann losing the Rocket Mortgage in a playoff and week 2 selection Patton Kizzire missing out on a top 10 finish by finishing 11th, we head into this week’s 3M Open in pretty good form.
With the major season now over – attentions turn to The FedexCup and for those with American or European allegiances, Ryder Cup selection. This week see’s household names such as Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, and Sergio Garcia all tee it up for the 2021 3M Open held at TPC Twin Cities.
TPC Twin Cities is a par 71 course that opened in 2000. Designed by golfing royalty Arnold Palmer alongside Minnesota native and 1996 Open Championship winner Tom Lehman, TPC Twin Cities hosted the 3M Championship, a regular stop on The Champions Tour from 2000 to 2018. With its wide fairways, minimal rough, easy pin placements, and manageable bunkers the 3M Championship fast became an annual birdie-fest.
With the awarding of the 3M Open and a main spot on The PGA Tour from 2019, Lehman was tasked with making the course tougher. As part of his redesign, fairways were narrowed and the rough made thicker, length was added and some bunkers were expanded. It’s tough to tell if Lehman’s designs have had the desired effect as the two previous winning scores have been -21 (2019 Matthew Wolff) and -19 (2020 Michael Thompson).
For our preview this week, we will need to pick golfers who are hot on the greens and need to be able to give themselves plenty of looks at birdies and eagles. As per usual we will provide our main bet, outright bet, before picking two golfers at longer odds. All odds courtesy of DraftKings and correct at the time of publishing.
MAIN BET: LUKE LIST +5000
Luke List enters this week’s 3M Open in sparkling form after a T4 finish at The John Deere Classic and a T5 at last week’s Barbasol Championship. Currently ranked 88th in The FedEx Cup Rankings, List has had a sneaky good year with a 6th place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and a further top 20 finish in the Valero Texas Open.
For the season List is currently ranked in 10th place for strokes gained off the tee and 22nd for strokes gained from tee to green. With TPC Twin Cities not playing particularly long, we are hoping that List who is averaging 313 yards per drive (4th longest on tour) can give himself lots of looks at birdies and eagles.
The putter is hot, as List has posted recent scores of -19 and -16, so he has the game to shoot low. In his last five tournaments List has averaged a score of -17. List played in the 2020 edition of the 3M Open where he finished 32nd, posting one bogey-free round.
We are hoping that List can keep up his recent hot streak and outrun his odds +5000 for victory. Odds of +1200 for a top 5 and +500 for a top 10 finish are also worth a nibble.
OUTRIGHT BET: DUSTIN JOHNSON +700
Although it’s the obvious pick, this was a really hard selection. Johnson currently leads the betting at +700, with Louis Oosthuizen second at +1100, Tony Finau third at +1400, and Patrick Reed 4th at +1600, but when you factor that all of these guys have just flown halfway across the world and will still be wearing some battle scars from a tough weekend, the pick does come with some trepidation.
Ultimately our bet on Johnson comes down to a couple of factors, firstly Johnson would love to reclaim a second successive FedExCup, so I think he will arrive in Minnesota doubly motivated, the second reason is that Johnson is showing signs that his game is returning after the numerous injuries he has suffered this season.
In his last seven events, Johnson has finished inside the top 20 four times. His T8th finish at last week’s Open showed some encouraging signs – where unfortunately he couldn’t make enough putts to truly put himself in contention ahead of the final round.
Despite what is a slow year by his lofty standards, Johnson has still recorded some impressive stats. Ranked 2nd on Tour for overall scoring, 7th for total driving distance, and 16th in strokes gained from tee to green, it’s clear that Johnson still boasts a class game. In a field devoid of some of the world’s biggest names it just makes sense to back Johnson as it seems that a return to his very best is just around the corner.
DARK HORSE: JHONATTAN VEGAS +6000
Jhonattan Vegas heads to this week’s 3M Open ranked 71st in The FedexCup rankings. The Venezuelan has had some good performances this year with a 2nd place finish at the Puerto Rico Open, a 9th placed finish in the Byron Nelson and a 2nd place finish at the Palmetto Championship. Vegas will be looking to strengthen his ranking ahead of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Vegas is ranked 4th in strokes gained off the tee and 12th in overall driving distance. He ranks 40th in overall strokes gained tee to green and his approach play is fairly solid, where he currently sits in 54th for Greens in Regulation percentage. Coming into this week’s tournament with three top 20 finishes in his last five tournament outings, I think Vegas has the game to do well this week. Although odds of +6000 for the victory look long — I think there is some real value to be had for a top 5 finish +1200 or top 10 finish +500.
LONG SHOT: RUSSELL KNOX +15000
One area that is yet to fully fire for our last-minute betting tips are the long shots, with each of our previous three selections yet to make the cut, however, it’s still early days, and we are looking to bounce back to form this week with our selection, Russell Knox.
Knox has been a mainstay on Tour for what seems an age, the Scot has two PGA Tour wins to his name, both coming back in 2016, so it has been a while since Knox has been in the winner’s circle.
As mentioned at the top of this article, we think the overall winning score will be low, so we will need a golfer who can give himself plenty of looks at birdies and eagles. Knox ranks 6th in overall green in regulation percentage, hitting 70% of greens in regulation all season, he lies 82nd in overall scoring and 42nd for total birdies.
Knox enters this week looking to rediscover his form, but you need to go back to May and the Well’s Fargo to see his last top 20 finish. However, we are hoping that the relatively short layout of TPC Twin Cities will enable his accuracy to really come into play and hopefully see Knox return to playing some of his best golf. At odds of +15000 for victory, +2800 for a top 5, and +850 for a top 10, we are hoping that Knox can finally get our long shots rolling.
Passionate writer about golf and the PGA Tour, you won’t find me on the fairway but instead hacking my way round the course. Terrible driver of the ball, even worse putter.
Love all sports but have decided to make my sporting life as miserable as possible by supporting Tottenham Hotspur and the Dallas Cowboys, who between them have gone almost a century without a major league title.