2021 3M Open Best Bets & Picks: Which Stats Matter at TPC Twin Cities?
Warren Little/R&A via Getty Images. Pictured: Sergio Garcia.
- After the final major of the year, the TOUR returns to the United States for the 3M Open.
- Even being the week after a major, some of golf's top players like Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen are in the event.
- Matt Vincenzi lays out his three best bets for the tournament and stats to know, below.
For the third consecutive year, the PGA TOUR heads to TPC Twin Cities to play the 3M Open.
An Arnold Palmer design, TPC Twin Cities is a 7,431-yard, par-71. The course is extremely flat throughout and features bentgrass greens. The fairways are easier to hit than TOUR average but 13 of the 18 holes do have water hazards in play.
The 3M Open will play host to 156 golfers this week with the top 65 players and ties making the weekend. Some notable golfers making the trip to Minnesota include Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Tony Finau, Matthew Wolff, Sergio Garcia and Keegan Bradley.
Past Winners at 3M Open
- 2020: Michael Thompson (-19)
- 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)
5 Key Stats For TPC Twin Cities
Let’s take a look at five key metrics for TPC Twin Cities to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.
1. Strokes Gained: Off The Tee
In 2019, we saw two of the longest drivers in the game in Matthew Wolff and Bryson DeChambeau go at it down the stretch at TPC Twin Cities showing that distance is a major factor. Collin Morikawa was right there with them and while not long off the tee, is a great driver of the golf ball. With plenty of water on the course, it is important to be both long and straight in Minnesota this week.
SG: OTT Over Past 24 Rounds
- Jhonattan Vegas (+22.5) (+7000)
- Cameron Champ (+21.1) (+15000)
- Bubba Watson (+20.0) (+3500)
- Dustin Johnson (+19.5) (+750)
- Tom Lewis (+17.1) (+13000)
2. Strokes Gained: Approach
In 2020, ball strikers were all over the leaderboard at TPC Twin Cities. The 3M open will require sharp iron play, as evidenced by Michael Thompson’s +7.4 strokes gained on approach in his victory.
Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds
- Emiliano Grillo (+27.8) (+3500)
- Kyle Stanley (+27.7) (+7000)
- Stewart Cink (+23.2) (+6500)
- Keegan Bradley (+23.2) (+4000)
- Sergio Garcia (+18.8) (+3500)
3. Birdie or Better: Gained
The green in regulation percentage at TPC Twin Cities is a good deal higher than TOUR average. Making pars isn’t going to be enough to get it done at the 3M Open. I expect ball strikers and birdie makers to hold a large share of the win equity this week.
Birdie or Better Past 24 rounds:
- Bubba Watson (+20.6) (+3500)
- Patton Kizzire (+20.4) (+6500)
- Hank Lebioda (+18.2) (+6000)
- Dustin Johnson (+17.4) (+750)
- Troy Merritt (+16.1) (+7500)
4. Par 4: 450-500
The most common par-4 distance on the course will be from 450-500. Golfers who play these holes well should be able to separate themselves on the leaderboard in Minnesota.
Par 4: 450-500 Over Past 24 Rounds
- Louis Oosthuizen (+22.2) (+1200)
- Chris Kirk (+19.1) (+6000)
- Keegan Bradley (+14.3) (+4000)
- Brendon Todd (+13.3) (+6500)
- Bubba Watson (+11.2) (+3500)
5. Opportunities Gained
Opportunities gained is a similar stat to birdie or better, but doesn’t include whether or not the golfer converted the putt for birdie. Although Thompson had a great putting week in 2020, the rest of the leaderboard didn’t show that putting was a major factor. 2019 was similar as Wolff and Morikawa both gained less than 1.0 stroke putting that week.
Opportunities Gained Over Past 24 Rounds
- Kyle Stanley (+29.1) (+7000)
- Emiliano Grillo (+23.6) (+3500)
- Stewart Cink (+22.2) (+6500)
- Patton Kizzire (+21.2) (+6000)
- Keegan Bradley (+20.8) (+4000)
The 3M Open Model Rankings
Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: OTT (26%), SG: Approach (24%), Birdie or Better (20%), Opportunities Gained (15%), and Par 4: 450-500 Ross (15%).
- Jhonattan Vegas (+7000)
- Keegan Bradley (+4000)
- Kyle Stanley (+7000)
- Emiliano Grillo (+3500)
- Stewart Cink (+6500)
- Luke List (+6500)
- Patrick Reed (+1600)
- Keith Mitchell (+18000)
- Joel Dahmen (+10000)
- Sergio Garcia (+3500)
2021 3M Open Best Bets
Sergio Garcia (+3500, DraftKings): Garcia is quietly coming off of three consecutive top 20 finishes. In his past two measured events, the Spaniard has gained an average of 5.9 strokes tee to green. We know how poor of a putter Garcia is, but he hasn’t been quite as bad lately; only losing 0.3 strokes to the field putting.
The 3M Open is an event that favors ball strikers, and Sergio is still one of the best ball strikers on the planet when he is in form. In his past 24 rounds, the 41-year-old ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach. I don’t see much value at the top of the board this week, so Garcia at +3500 is a good place to start a betting card.
Matthew Wolff (+3500, DraftKings): There are plenty of questions surrounding Wolff at the moment. After taking a few months off from golf, the 22-year-old seemed to re-emerge in some pretty decent form finishing 15th at the U.S. Open.
The one thing that is undoubtable about Wolff this week is his course fit. He won at TPC Twin Cities in 2019 and followed that up with a 12th place finish in 2020. Betting Wolff this week is a boom-or-bust proposition. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him miss the cut due to his volatility, but if he gets in contention he has a real chance to win the event for the second time in three years.
Bubba Watson (+4000, bet365): Bubba missed The Open Championship last week due to contact tracing, and I don’t consider that to be a detriment to his chances at the 3M Open.
The imaginative lefty is playing some great golf and seems to be trending towards a win in the near future. Watson got into contention deep into the Travelers Championship before faltering down the stretch and compiling mistakes.
It was most definitely a positive sign to see him bounce back quickly and follow the performance up with a sixth-place finish at Detroit Golf Club (Rocket Mortgage Classic). Over the past two seasons, the leaderboards at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the 3M Open have had glaring similarities.
Tee-to-green game will be especially important at TPC Twin Cities, and Watson’s 9.4 Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green performance in Detroit could very well carry over to Minnesota this week. If it does, Watson could be the man to beat.
Keegan Bradley (+5000, bet365): TPC Twin Cities is a ball strikers paradise where putting (while always helpful) may not be an absolute requirement. Bradley is always one of the first players to come to mind when searching for elite ball strikers.
Bradley has had an impressive season to date, and has maintained form through the Rocket Mortgage Classic two weeks ago, where he gained 5.5 strokes on approach. His putting was abysmal once again as he lost 4.3 strokes to the field. In 2019, Wolff and Morikawa dueled down the stretch and both gained less than one stroke putting. If Bradley can putt to field average, he will have a chance to earn his fifth career PGA TOUR victory.