Horses for Courses: 3M Open
July 20, 2021
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
- Matthew Wolff begins the week ranked 60th in the FedExCup standings. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
The annual summer tour through the Midwest returns to Blaine, Minnesota, for the third consecutive season at TPC Twin Cities.
From Detroit to the Quad Cities back to Kentucky and now Minnesota, the last four TOUR events have required one thing in common: Make a bushel full of birdies. The warm weather and humidity makes it easy to stay loose yet the dwindling amount of events on the TOUR calendar ratchets up the pressure for those on the bubbles. After the Olympics there are two events to get right, Barracuda and Wyndham. I left out the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational because if you're qualified for that, you're already good.
The fourth consecutive week of bentgrass, bluegrass and birdies should have everyone as dialed in as they can be. July is for fireworks and it's time to light plenty more off this week as TPC Twin Cities led the Champions Tour is birdies allowed for seven straight seasons and has ranked No. 1 in 2019 and No. 6 in 2020 in the first two events on TOUR.
I've included the birdie leaders from the last three weeks (The Open not included) below so you're familiar with who has been sizzling like the weather. And since this is Horses for Courses, I'll also include the players who have made the cut in both editions as well.
The average winning score on the Par-71 (7,431 yards) is 20-under from the previous two events so birdies and eagles are the order of the day. To contend in a shootout the formula remains the same, GIR and holing putts for birdie/eagle. 28 acres of fairway will provide ample space to get the ball in play. Bentgrass greens running at 12 feet provide 6,500 square feet of putting surface to aim for. Water is in play on 15 holes but there hasn't been any water on the course outside of the sprinklers. Mother Nature has only dropped an inch of rain since May so firm and fast might just be that. Shrinking the fairways could bring three inches of Bluegrass/Fescue into play but with greens that size it shouldn't be a problem for these guys. They are quite good.
The field of 156 is playing for a prize pool of $6.6 million ($1.188 first place, 500 FedExCup points). The top 65 and ties make the cut as Michael Thompson defends the title.
Recent Event Winner Stats
Year 2020 2019 Michael Thompson Matthew Wolff Score 263 263 To Par 19-under 21-under MOV 2 1 Cut 2-under 3-under Age 35 20 Disantance - All Drives 54 5 Driving Accuarcy T22 T31 GIR T3 T6 Ball-Striking T20 13 Proximity 33 12 Putting: Birdie or Better % 29 3 SG: Off-the-Tee 51 21 SG: Approach-the-Green 4 2 SG: Around-the-Green 53 18 SG: Putting 1 39 SG: Tee-to-Green 17 1 Scrambling 2 T62 Bogey Avoidance T1 T25 Par-3 Scoring T23 T32 Par-4 Scoring T1 T1 Par-5 Scoring T17 T11
2020 - Michael Thompson (-19, 265)
Won by two shots to pick up his second TOUR win in his 228th start. ... 35 years old. ... Co-led after 36 (-12) and 54 (-15) before closing with 67. ... Opened with 64, one back. ... Career low total on TOUR. ... Led the field in Strokes-Gained: Putting, second in scrambling and third in GIR. ... Only circled 22 birdies, but that means he only squared three bogeys (T1). ... MDF here 2019. ... Entered the week cashing three of five after the restart with one top 10. ... Previous win in 2016 at The Honda Classic.
Notables in the field this week:
Adam Long (2nd) closed 63-64 but 72 in Round 2 set the bar too high. ... Tony Finau (T3) sat one off the lead after 36 and two after 54. ... Emiliano Grillo (T3) circled 24 birdies (T2) for the week. ... Charles Howell III (T3), like Grillo, opened with 71 and played his final 54 holes 16-under. ... Charl Schwartzel (T3) was T3 Putts per GIR. ... Robby Shelton (T3) closed with 64 to secure his best TOUR finish to date. ... Cameron Tringale (T3) closed 66-63 to better his T42 from 2019. ... Richy Werenski (T3) led after 18 (63) and co-led after 36 and 54. ... 2019 champ Matthew Wolff (T12) returns again this year. ... Low round of the week (63) was also matched by Bo Hoag (T12) and Sepp Straka (T18) on Sunday. ... Dylan Frittelli (T18) led the field with 25 birdies. ... Werenski was the only player in the top 27 to post a round of 70 or worse in Round 4. ... Top 40 players were 10-under or better. ... 25 bogey-free rounds. ... Weekend rounds played 2 strokes below par. ... Scoring average was 69.48. ... Cut was 2-under.
2019 - Matthew Wolff (21-under, 263)
Made eagle from off the green at the final hole to defeat Collin Morikawa (not entered) and Bryson DeChambeau (not entered) by a shot. ... First TOUR victory in his third start as a professional and just fourth overall. ... Played the weekend 62 (T-low round of the week) and 65. ... Led the field in Par-Breakers with 26 birdies and one eagle. ... Sponsor's invite becomes first 20 year old to win since Jordan Spieth in 2013. ... Also won the NCAA individual crown earlier that summer. ... Shared the 54 hole lead on 15-under. ... Sat T49 (-2) after 18 and T35 (-6) after 36. ... Rolled into town off MC and T80 in his previous two starts.
Notables in the field this week:
Adam Hadwin (4th) co-led the field with 26 birdies. ... Wyndham Clark (T5) only squared four bogeys for the week. ... Troy Merritt (T7) needed just 107 putts (T1). ... Scott Piercy (T15) opened with the co-low round of the week, 62, to lead after 18 holes. ... Charles Howell III (T23) co-led the field with three bogeys for the week. ... Of the top 12 players, six posted 64 or better. ... Top 52 players were 10-under or better. ... 44 bogey-free rounds. ... Played easier every day. ... 69.445 average. ... First TOUR event in Minnesota since 1969.
Key stat leaders
Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
Strokes Gained: Approach Rank Player 4 Keegan Bradley 9 Matthew NeSmith 12 Emiliano Grillo 16 Doug Ghim 21 Stewart Cink 22 Cam Percy 23 Chez Reavie 24 Kyle Stanley 28 Russell Knox 29 Tony Finau 32 Scott Stallings 34 Matthew Wolff 37 Tom Hoge 38 Lanto Griffin 40 Dustin Johnson 42 Patrick Reed 44 Cameron Trigale 45 Hank Lebioda 49 Louis Oosthuizen 50 Chris Kirk Putting: Birdie-or-Better % Rank Player 4 Patrick Reed 7 Cam Davis 16 Harry Higgs 19 Patton Kizzire 20 Dustin Johnson 26 Peter Malnati 27 Matthew Wolff 29 Tom Hoge 33 Rafael Campos 38 Cameron Tringale 40 Luke List 41 JT Poston 43 Ted Potter, JR 44 Will Gordon 47 Joel Dahmen 48 Sepp Straka 50 Maverick McNealy Par-4 Scoring Rank Player 1 Emiliano Grillo 2 James Hahn 5 Chris Kirk 9 Doug Ghim 9 Charles Howell III 15 Ryan Armour 15 Cameron Tringale 15 Patrick Reed 15 Austin Cook 15 Patton Kizzire 15 Louis Oosthuizen 26 Josh Teater 26 Kyle Stanley 26 Chase Seiffert 26 Roger Sloan 26 Dustin Johnson 26 Hank Lebioda 26 Brice Garnett 41 Lucas Glover 41 Aaron Baddeley 41 David Hearn 41 Vince Whaley 41 Chris Baker 41 Jhonattan Vegas 41 Cam Davis 41 Maverick McNealy 41 Brian Stuard Rocket Mortgage Classic Par Breakers (entered this week) Player Bubba Watson 24 Cam Davis 24 Troy Merritt 24 Mark Anderson 23 John Deere Classic Par Breakers (entered this week) Player Will Gordon 24 Adam Schenk 24 Hank Lebioda 23 Ryan Moore 22 Patton Kizzire 22 Luke List 22 Scott Brown 22 Barbasol Championship Par Breakers (entered this week) Player Patrick Rodgers 26 Joseph Bramlett 25 Mito Pereira 25 Josh Teater 24 JT Poston 24
Horses for Courses
Top golfers over the two editions of the 3M Open entered this week and other exceptions.
Player (Starts/Cuts Made) Top 10s Top 25 Most Recent Recent Others/Notes Michael Thompson (2/2) 1 1 Win (2020) MDF 2019; 68 or better in all 4 rounds last year Adam Long (1/2) 1 1 2nd (2020) MC 2019 Tony Finau (2/2) 1 2 T3 (2020) T23; 29-under includes 5 rounds of 67 or better Charles Howell III (2/2) 1 2 T3 (2020) T23; 29-under includes 5 rounds of 67 or better Cameron Tringale (2/2) 1 1 T3 (2020) T42; closed 63-66 last year Richy Werenski (2/2) 1 1 T3 (2020) T46 Robby Shelton (1/1) 1 1 T3 (2020) First appearance Emiliano Grillo (1/1) 1 1 T3 (2020) First appearance Charl Schwartzel (1/1) 1 1 T3 (2020) First appearance Matthew Wolff (2/2) 1 2 Win (2019) T12 2020; All 8 rounds are in the red (35-under) Adam Hadwin (1/1) 1 1 4th (2019) DNS 2020 Wyndham Clark (1/2) 1 1 T5 (2019) MC 2020 Troy Merritt (1/2) 1 1 T7 (2019) MC 2020 Cut Makers (not listed above; alphabetical order) 2019 2020 Bronson Burgoon T41 T34 Jason Dufner T32 T66 Matt Every 68th T79 Dylan Frittelli T18 T46 Brice Garnett T26 T23 Bill Haas T58 T74 Tom Hoge T46 T23 Patton Kizzire T46 T34 Hank Lebioda T26 T34 Denny McCarthy T32 T23 Pat Perez T23 T53 Scott Stallings T62 T74