I am feeling guilty for daring to take a few weeks off for a holiday (undeserved, ask anyone), but I am paying the price writing this week’s golf article in the sweltering heat of my office so perhaps karma has come home to roost?
Onwards and upwards, and with the majority of the top players having a week or two off we have a weaker field for the 3M Open this weekend from the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota – but someone still has to win it, of course. A 7,431 yard par 71 course we can expect some pretty low scores from day one onwards, and although this is only the fourth renewal of this $7.5 million event, it has a history on the PGA Champions Tour stretching back to 1993, before being promoted to the PGA Tour “proper” in 2019.
For those considering a trip to partake, 15 of the 18 holes have water in play so bring plenty of balls (if you are at my level), and although now longer since a 2018 revamp (which added 350 yards), it is seen as one of the easiest courses on the tour – though naturally that applies to every player making us none the wiser. The rough is cut to be tougher than normal but is easily avoidable for players of this standard, and the biggest unknown is usually the weather – recent years have seen gusting winds and fog, and although we cannot build it in to our calculations, I am wary that start times may make all the difference if the inclement weather strikes again.
On to finding the winner – fingers crossed…
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here accurately as they differ by the minute. Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Cam Davis 25/1 top 8 places William Hill and others (27.0 Betfair)
Australian golfers are very much in vogue for obvious reasons and although no one would suggest consistency is his strong point, the 27 year-old from Sydney has bits and pieces of form that suggest he has a big shout here. He has along list of decent efforts on similar courses with a win at the Detroit Golf Club last year possibly the highlight. He was 12th here in 2020 after heading in to the final day in sixth spot, and after filling same spot last week at the Barracuda Championship, he is well worth considering for the places at least this week as well.
1pt each way Sahith Theegala 25/1 top 8 places William Hill (25.0 Betfair)
It seems fair to say the Californian is not a household name – yet – but there are plenty in the game who think we have a future star on our hands and he can only get better with experience. He has been around a while having played no less than 40 PGA events, but he has come in to his own recently with a third at TPC Scottsdale in January, a fifth at Muirfield Village in June, and a heartbreaking second in the TPC River Highland when arriving at the last hole on level terms with Xander Schauffele. The talent is there for all to see and although he was “only” 34th at The Open last weekend, he was eighth after the first two days and is a player very much on the up and up.
1pt each way Wyndham Clark 50/1 top 8 places Coral and Ladbrokes (50.0 Betfair)
An outsider here but his price is frankly too big for me to resist. Having a player who outdrives his playing partners on a regular basis may not be a necessity here, but it isn’t a bad thing either, and having made the cut in 10 of his last 13 events, he has to be in with a chance, however slim. Interestingly, I suspect being seen as a big-hitter has made the bookies ignore his chances, but they have failed to note that he sits in the top 30 for strokes gained with the putter, and if he can his drives off to leave a loftier club to follow, I am fairly confident he will make plenty of putts this weekend. Add in a fifth here in 2019 and I am convinced 50/1 is a value call – he just needs to get it all together where it counts to hit the top eight and land the place part of our bets.