2021 3M Open Buys, Predictions: Tony Finau is a Top Pick at TPC Twin Cities
Charlie Crowhurst/R&A/R&A via Getty Images. Pictured: Robert MacIntyre.
- Golf's major season is over but the 3M Open kicks off Thursday morning from TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn.
- There's only a few weeks left in the PGA TOUR season, so which golfer can close it out with a flourish?
- Using strokes gained data, Chris Murphy finds his favorite bets at this week's event.
The performance put on by young star Collin Morikawa in the final round of The Open Championship was that of a grizzled veteran. The 24-year-old showed no nerves as he knocked in putt after putt to close with a bogey-free round and win the Claret Jug by two shots over Jordan Spieth.
Morikawa won his second major in just seven attempts and became the 10th debutant to win The Open, the first since Ben Curtis, also at Royal St. George’s, in 2003. The Cal grad moves up to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings and will now get set to tee it up to play for his country next week at the Tokyo Olympics.
There is a TOUR event before those Olympics, as well, with TPC Twin Cities set to host the 3M Open this week. A handful of players who played at Royal St. George’s will head back across the pond to tee it up at the 3M, as they look to carry some of their good play into the event.
We did not have strokes gained data at The Open, so I’ll be leaning on overall results and course fit to help identify my favorite buys into the week.
3 Buys For the 2021 3M Open
One player who added his name to the field with a top-10 finish at The Open was Robert MacIntyre. He decided to travel back to the states this week to play at the 3M, as he has an opportunity to help secure his TOUR card with a solid finish.
MacIntyre made a key birdie putt on his final hole of the second round at The Open, which allowed him to play the weekend at Royal St. George’s. He took full advantage of that opportunity by going 65-67 to climb from just inside the cutline, all the way to a T-8 finish.
The Scotsman is known for his distance off the tee, which has shown to be an edge at TPC Twin Cities as shown by the leaderboard, especially in 2019 when Matthew Wolff captured his first win. MacIntyre will have that to lean on this week, but he was solid throughout his bag at Royal St. George’s, hitting 73% of his greens in regulation while rolling it well on the greens.
I’m buying in on MacIntyre’s good form, but also the added motivation he has this week for a top finish.
I bought back in on Tony Finau this past week at The Open, and he paid that off for me with a T-15 finish. He always seems to play well in that major, regardless of his form, and he did so again at Royal St. George’s. I am going to look for him to carry that good play back with him to the states for the 3M Open.
Finau finished in a tie for fourth in the field in greens in regulation at The Open at more than 76%. His approach play will be a key factor for TPC Twin Cities since Strokes Gained Approach has been the biggest statistic in determining the winner each of the past two years.
Finau finished T-3 at this tournament last year and was T-23 in 2019. He knows this course and with his form looking like it’s coming back, he should be a factor throughout the weekend.
Brandt Snedeker was another player that flashed some form at The Open Championship over the weekend. He had been struggling a bit coming into the event, lacking any top-20 finishes since May. Snedeker was able to break that streak with a T-19 in the final major of the season and closed with a solid 2-under round on Sunday.
The big key for Snedeker over the weekend was dialing in his irons, hitting 75% of his greens in regulation. He will look to carry that play into his debut at the 3M Open this week, and we know he can get hot with the putter like last year’s champion Michael Thompson did.