Sobel’s 3M Open Round 3 Matchup Bets: Can Steele’s Driving Keep Him in Contention?


Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brendan Steele

  • Jason Sobel analyzes three third-round matchups for the 2019 3M Open: Brendan Steele vs. Troy Merritt, Collin Morikawa vs. Roger Sloan and Sungjae Im vs. Shawn Stefani.

BLAINE, Minn. — Welcome to the 3M Open, where everybody makes the cut!

OK, maybe not everybody, but a down-to-the-wire cutline left 16 players tied for 70th place, meaning 85 total competitors will be playing Saturday.

Be careful of the impending DNFs for DFS purposes, but that doesn’t affect matchups — especially the following three, among players who are a little further up the leaderboard.

Brendan Steele -0.5 (-110) over Troy Merritt

We had an inkling that driving stats would be a strong indicator of performance this week, which perhaps explains why Steele is in contention through 36 holes.

The PGA Tour leader in total driving, I spent some time with him after his second round and he maintained that his 3-under 68 was the highest score he could’ve posted. Following a low one from Merritt, this should be a good spot for Steele to build on momentum and pile up enough birdies to win this matchup.

Collin Morikawa -0.5 (-115) over Roger Sloan

If you listened to our Action Network podcast this week, you’ll recall Peter Jennings singing the praises of Morikawa. While Viktor Hovland and Matt Wolff have gotten most of the post-college pub, Morikawa has been very good since turning pro.

Sloan is a player who posts some nice Thursday/Friday scores, but struggles to put everything together on the weekend.

Sungjae Im -0.5 (-115) over Shawn Stefani 

His second-round 70 was disappointing, but Im remains positive in strokes gained in every category but approach shots.

That should be a little concerning for a very good ball-striker, but this should be a smash matchup for him, as he’s ready to start getting into serious contention at more PGA Tour events.

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