2023 3M Open Picks: Odds, Bets for Garrick Higgo, Nicolai Hojgaard, Ryan Fox
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Garrick Higgo.
With just two weeks left in the PGA Tour regular season, now is the time for those outside the FedExCup Playoff picture to hit the gas and secure their spots, starting with the upcoming 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.
TPC Twin Cities was lengthened a bit to better fit the PGA Tour and will check in around 7,400 yards for a par-71.
This course has typically favored long hitters who can keep the ball in play off the tee. Past winners include Tony Finau, Cameron Champ and Matthew Wolff, so distance definitely has its perks.
But anyone who dodges the water and handles the putter will shoot in the mid-60s with regularity. Beyond the champions, the board has been littered with more accuracy-based players.
Most of the big names will be off until the playoffs, so we don't have much strength at the top of this board. Four names sit in the +1200-1600 range: Tony Finau, Cameron Young, Hideki Matsuyama and Sungjae Im.
Finau is the defending champ, while Im finished runner-up a year ago. Young seems to have found his game with top 10s at the Open and John Deere. Matsuyama is probably the odd one out of this range without a ton of great results recently. He's been playing fine but hasn't really shown the gear needed to contend in a while.
Next, we have a drop down to +2500 with Justin Thomas, Sepp Straka and Emiliano Grillo.
The fact that Thomas is even playing this event and has a number in this range tells us everything we need to know about his game. He's never appeared more lost.
Straka is fresh off a win at the John Deere and was second to Brian Harman at the Open, so his form has never been better. Grillo has a second- and third-place finish here and is in solid form as well.
I'll construct my card mostly from this range. This is a bit of a weird event. With so much water in play, accuracy tends to be the edge when you look at the top 20 on the leaderboard.
But when it comes to outrights, it's the long hitters who have popped so far. Basically, if a bomber is dialed in, they have a big edge — but more often than not, they'll spray one at the wrong time.
Consequently, my card will mostly be longer hits with the hopes they find the fairway, knowing full well an MC could easily be looming.
Ryan Fox (+5500) hasn't contended much this season on the PGA Tour, but he is consistently making cuts and has shown the ability to win in Europe.
Nicolai Hojgaard (+5500) is a pretty similar player. He's got some strong results in the alternate-field events and has won a few times overseas.
Garrick Higgo (+8000), though, is the most interesting one for me. He's gained strokes off the tee in 11 of the last 12 events, but the noted bomber has been far more accurate in recent months, gaining fairways in eight of his last 11 starts.
That's the kind of indicator I'm looking for in a longshot. The irons have held him back all year, but we saw improvement there as well at the Scottish Open, where he gained strokes for the first time since March.
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I also played two accuracy-focused players as well..
Aaron Rai (+4000) is making his debut here, but he has three finishes of 12th or better in the last six starts.
Lucas Glover (+5000) is also in a good run of form after figuring out the putter. He's finished sixth or better in three straight events and was seventh here when the tournament debuted in 2019.
I'll go down to one of my Korn Ferry Tour favorites in this range. Minnesota native Frankie Capan III is a long hitter whose lone PGA start this year was when he qualified for the U.S. Open.
Capan (350/1) has been really erratic on the KFT this year, but he has finished sixth or better in three starts and is currently in position to earn a PGA Tour card next season.
He's probably better for top-20 or top-40 bets further down the board, but with his length and comfort playing close to home, I'll take the chance here.