The PGA Tour welcomes another new tournament this weekend, with the debut of the 3M Open, held at TPC Twin Cities, Minnesota, and there’s some big names lining up for this one.
TPC Twin Cities has been the regular venue for a Champions Tour event and looks like offering a relatively straightforward test. Designed by Arnold Palmer, it offers plentiful birdie opportunities, despite the plentiful water features. It isn’t unduly long by PGA standards, and the wide fairways, which have been made even more forgiving by recent rain, will not provide a significant challenge,
Four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka obviously has to be taken seriously every time he steps onto the tee, and it’s no surprise to see him top the market at odds of 7/1, as the field for this event lacks quality in depth. But Koepka notably targets the big events, so some punters might be reluctant to back him at such relatively short odds, particularly when there are viable alternatives.
Those alternatives include Jason Day, who seems to be thriving with his new caddie, and who arrives in Minnesota after a handy eighth-place finish at the Travelers Championship. He’s the 11/1 second favourite, alongside Hideki Matsuyama, whose new putter has helped him register three top-twenty finishes in his last five outings. And another big name to watch this week could be Patrick Reed (25/1) who seems to be finding form and finished third at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Among those available at bigger odds, Scott Piercy may attract some interest at 50/1 following, and he will be suited by the conditions this week, as will Danny Lee (100/1), who managed to register a seven-under-par in his opening round in Detroit, despite being out of touch with the putter. And fan favourite Phil Mickelson will also likely draw some support at 50/1.
A Surprise would be No Surprise
Last week, Nate Lashley caused a major surprise when he won another new PGA Tour event, the Rocket Mortgage Classic, despite having no significant form to his name. That same combination of a new, unchallenging course, and a relatively weak field could well produce another shock this week, so we shouldn’t be unduly surprised if another outsider crashes the PGA party this weekend.