Pick 'Em Preview: 3M Open
5 Min Read
The 3M Open drops at a time when none of the most notable in its field is playing its best. It’s also not a replicate of the Mexico Open at Vidanta that had an overwhelming favorite in Jon Rahm to deliver on the most challenging task – victory.
Of course, this is also golf, so it’s not to say that any of the short list of names that the most casual of fans might know won’t be holding the trophy at TPC Twin Cities on Sunday, but the more knowledgeable among us have reasons to be skeptical.
PointsBet always is open for business, but toying with the possibilities in PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live this week extends an enhanced experience throughout the chaos of the uncertainty. For gamers of a certain age, it’s like any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were so popular 25-40 years ago. We all begin on page 1 and none of us ever takes the same path.
Embrace the process because your choices just might lead you to the promised land.
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Glass … Harry Higgs (+20000)
As I noted in Horses for Courses, all three winners of the 3M Open opened at +12500, so starting on the fringes and working back is, again, the angle this week. Higgs has admitted he needs to put it gear as he looks to build on his T11 last week near Lake Tahoe.
If lightning is NOT caught in a bottle, I'll shake the dice again as the week moves on.
Rob … Brice Garnett (+12500)
I bettered Glass at St. Andrews but I deferred this week’s opening kickoff because his narrative deserves top billing.
The 3M Open is a platinum opportunity for us. The extremely gradual rise on the outrights board eliminates everyone at +6000 and shorter until the 36-hole cut falls. Keep scrolling.
I’ll also stick with the trend at TPC Twin Cities. Garnett has made very little noise all season, but he’s fresh off a T16 at the Barracuda Championship where he was the only golfer in the top 30 to lose point – one point to be exact – in the final round. When he’s on, it’s all about piling up scoring opportunities, and that’s the ticket this week. He’s 3-for-3 in this tournament with a pair of top 25s and a scoring average of 68.25.
Rob … Cole Hammer (+2000)
I’ll retake the honor here, thank you.
So, even though PointsBet had a market for top 10s ahead of the finale of The Open Championship, the bet didn’t unlock on this page, so I was stuck with Joohyung Kim and his T47. That’s the common experience for the Top 20 bet where I will continue to play it safer, but now it’s fair to wonder if it’s going to happen again in this lane. (I was up until 2:00 a.m. PT on Sunday when the 2-balls were uploaded.)
All of that is to say that, while I want to see what the kid can do, he’ll be on a pitch count. Former University of Texas teammate Pierceson Coody already is a winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, but Hammer beat Coody on the KFT last week, T7-MC, so he arrives with some momentum into Minnesota. He’s one of my Sleepers.
As bananas as it seems for Hammer to convert on this target, consider that Matthew Wolff also has just turned pro before he broke through for victory in the inaugural 3M Open in 2019.
Glass … Austin Cook (+1500)
Thankfully I have an early alarm bell on Saturday for TRAVEL SPORTS so I should find the sweet spot to reload, if necessary. Cook has snapped off five paydays in his last five events and can get the putter hot on command. It doesn't hurt that he's 14th in fairways hit with tough short grass to find.
Glass … Scott Gutschewski (+600)
Sometimes you need a map and a compass when searching for value. I'm going to start with a guy who picked up his first top five on TOUR last week. Let's find hot, stay hot and maybe get hotter!
Rob … Cole Hammer (+900)
Keeping it simple in piggybacking the Top 10. When courses aren’t terribly difficult, the inexperienced have a better chance to contend, and I’m relying on his strong week in Illinois as a springboard.
Rob … Adam Svensson (+6000)
This likely is the first time that the No. 1 in my Power Rankings goes out in the first threesome of the day, so that prevents me from overthinking it. (Despite rumors, there’s no truth that I arranged this.) By the time I’m awake and alert, he’ll be on his inward side, so I won’t hesitate to pivot.
Thursday will present the age-old debate about whether you want your charge to go out on the easier side when the wind is down and come home on the harder when it freshens, or the opposite. Relative to par, the back nine of TPC Twin Cities is easier, but that’s in part because two of the three par 5s on the course are Nos. 12 and 18. Svensson begins on No. 1. Conventional wisdom suggests that you want your guy on the easier side when the breezes are up, but this course isn’t challenging enough to make a significant difference.
My philosophy always has been to tilt toward playing the easier side when the wind lays down because he’s more likely to go lower in the meantime and hang on (at worst) on the rest. Sure, some will prove that wrong, but you’ll get a subset of guys on the opposite side of the course also disobeying the intent. Either way, commit to your shot and learn from it.
Glass … Sungjae Im (+3300)
Fairways, greens and putts for birdies.
I'm riding a simple formula with a guy who, when he’s in the mood, has no problem racking up par breakers. Tee 10 at 7:23 a.m. CT doesn't hurt my angle. It also gives me all morning/afternoon to jump to a hotter horse.
NOTE: While Glass and Rob typically stick with their selections as detailed in Pick ‘Em Preview, they are allowed the right to make changes at any time.