Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: 3M Open
After an impressive series of PGA Tour events featuring loaded fields and top name billing week in and week out, the Tour settles into the summer rosters with few stars and then a steep drop off in name recognition and talent. Sandwiched between the Memorial and a WGC event before a major championship, the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities hosts a slightly less intriguing field headlined by the post-layoff debut of Tommy Fleetwood.
The scoring conditions in Blaine, Minnesota will be a welcome sight to those traumatized by the carnage at Muirfield Village. Golfers will see bentgrass greens once again, but these surfaces can hardly be considered from the same planet as last week's treacherous greens. Some may find the drop in difficulty a huge advantage, while others could potentially hear voices in their heads as they line up their seven-foot par putts saying, "You think this is just going to go straight?"
After years on the PGA Champions Tour, the 7,468-yard par 71 hosted its first event on the big stage last year with a thrilling finish among some of the game's brightest young stars. Matthew Wolff needed a 26-foot eagle putt to drop to topple Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa on the 72nd hold last year. Of that triumvirate, only Wolff is in the field this week, a shame considering the other two have been winners in the past month and are two of the best players in the world this year.
The early forecast shows some storms mid-week and possibly into Thursday morning, so soft conditions can be expected. We'll want to keep an eye on the weather throughout the week for wave advantages, but with softer landing areas in the fairway, our default should be to good drivers this week.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: TPC Twin Cities
Distance: 7,468 yards
Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass with some native prairie grass in the rough
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average||O/U Par Avg||Rank|
The inaugural 3M Open showed that a course could yield plenty of birdies but also be unbelievably punishing for an "easy" course. Overall, the scoring average ranked 36th out 49 courses in the 2018-19 season (which includes individual courses on rotation events). TPC Twin Cities yielded the most birdies of any course last year but also saw the 11th-most double bogeys.
Given their shared sophomore status on Tour and Midwest locales, it is hard not to link Detroit Golf Club (Rocket Mortgage Classic) to TPC Twin Cities. DeChambeau having had the latter ripped from his grasp last year only to overcome Wolff a few weeks ago at the former creates another link. TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic) looks a match, too, as another bentgrass track in the Midwest that typically sees a comparable field as the lead-in event (in normal years) to the Open Championship.
These stats will be the keys to success in the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.
|Key Stats for the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
We'll play it pretty straight with a small sample to go off, notably that Wolff led the field in strokes gained: tee to green and was second only to Morikawa in approach. The course yielded the 8th-highest green in regulation percentage last year, so finding golfers who gain on the field even when most of the competition is putting for birdie will be a separator this week.
As covered above, birdies are there for the taking this week. Finding golfers who can make birdies and bounce back from a bad hole with a round number will be essential. Fantasy scoring could be a useful barometer this week, as well, given that the best DFS scorers will make their fair share of bogeys and double bogeys but compensate with a ton of birdies to rack up points.
The par 5s here will make or break you, as Wolff showed by scaling the 596-yard 18th in two to set up his walk-off putt. Few golfers can find that green in two, and getting an extra try or two at eagle this week could end up being the difference.
Course History Studs
Wolff picked up his first PGA Tour win here last year by gaining by far the most strokes with his approaches in his professional career. He gained 9.5 strokes that week, and his second-best performance was 5.6 strokes gained a few weeks later at the Wyndham Championship.
Minnesota native Troy Merritt finished T7 last year. Other golfers from last year's top 10 that are in the field this week include Carlos Ortiz, Wyndham Clark, Sam Burns, Lucas Glover, and Brian Harman.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.