3M Open Round 4 Preview and Betting Picks: Back Talor Gooch, Alex Noren on Sunday
Stacy Revere, Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Noren.
With 18 holes left to play at the 3M Open, the leaderboard is finally beginning to appear a bit less muddled, with Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski owning a two-stroke lead over Tony Finau and Charl Schwartzel.
In what has easily been the least predictable event since the PGA TOUR’s restart, I’m not too interested in chasing dead money anymore, but if you really want to take a shot on a player with a decent price next to his name, I suppose I don’t mind a conservative play on Alex Noren (+3300) – a world-class talent who’s been largely forgotten until now.
Following rounds of 67-69-66, he’s four strokes back and will need a low one to somehow claim his first U.S. victory, but that isn’t anything he hasn’t done in the past, as three of his last six European Tour wins have come with a final-round total of 65 or better.
At the 33/1 number, he’s at least a longshot who could come through in the end. (And if you bet at DraftKings, they’re offering a 30% boost on golf bets on Sunday, so you could get Noren at +4290.)
Other than that, I’d rather focus on head-to-head matchups for Sunday’s finale.
Talor Gooch (-109) over Adam Long
These guys were the proverbial two trains heading in opposite directions in the third round. Gooch was just one stroke off the lead, but posted a 1-over 73 and fell into a share of 13th place.
Long, meanwhile, started 10 shots back and clawed his way into (semi) contention with a 64. The markets are overvaluing the performance of each player from Saturday, as I’ll bank on some regression from both sides and take the better ball-striker in Gooch to bounce back.
Austin Cook (+116) over Pat Perez
For the third straight day, Cook ranked among the top players in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green – and for the third straight day, his flatstick kept him from going seriously low.
There are only so many birdie opportunities a player can have before he starts converting more of ‘em and that’s what I’m imagining for Cook in this one. Considering Perez ranks 120th in final-round scoring average this season, I like the chances for Cook to win this one.
Sepp Straka (-162) over Aaron Baddeley
Brice Garnett (-132) over Matthias Schwab
I’m listing these two together because I like the fact that Straka and Garnett have played consistently well on Sunday afternoons this season. Until two weeks ago, Straka led the PGA TOUR in final-round scoring average; he now ranks 14th.
Garnett is fourth, behind only Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson and Will Gordon. I’d love to see a shorter number for both of these guys, but I still like them at these prices.