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Damien Kayat previews the 2022 edition of the PGA Tour’s 3M Open taking place at TPC Three Cities.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Damien Kayat previews the 2022 edition of the PGA Tour’s 3M Open taking place at TPC Three Cities.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2021/2022 US PGA Tour
3M Open
TPC Three Cities, Blaine, Minnesota
21st-23rd July

I think we all need to take some time to decompress following last week’s drama at St Andrews. I- like the vast majority of the golfing world- was rooting for Rory to emerge victorious in the 150th Open Championship.

With all the hullabaloo surrounding LIV Golf, Rory has emerged as a crusader for tradition in this uncertain time. But he couldn’t hole a putt on Sunday. By contrast, Cam Smith’s back-nine putting was a sight to behold. Honestly, his touch around the greens was as accomplished as prime Woods.

There have been murmurings that this year’s Open Champion may be tempted to the dark side (to the tune of 90 million dollars). In any event, the Aussie was a worthy winner of a truly incredible Open Championship.

The tour catches its breath this week with the far less intense 3M Open. This week is a rather jarring change of pace from last week’s rustic Scottish jaunt. The 3M Open is hosted in Blaine (a suburb north of Minneapolis).

It’s not surprising that many of the tour’s big guns will be taking it easy this week. But with the FedEx Cup winding down to its finale, many of the less fancied players will be earmarking this as a chance to accumulate some precious FedEx Cup points. This event actually succeeded the 3M Championship (a PGA Tour Champions event that ran for 26 years).

The tournament was announced as a full PGA Tour event in 2018. This will be the 4th renewal of this event and every edition has been hosted at TPC Twin Cities.

TPC Twin Cities was a long-time host of the PGA Tour Champions event.

This Arnold Palmer-design was opened in 2000 and it’s a complete contrast to the links of St Andrews. This flat parkland layout has very little undulation to it. The bentgrass greens are ultra-accessible and this really boils down to a birdie-fest. David Frost won a PGA Tour Champions title here with a score of 25-under par (in just three rounds).

That tells you all you need to know about TPC Twin Cities. Recent history seems to suggest that this is one for the bombers: Matthew Wolff won in 2019 while Cam Champ won last year’s title.

Furthermore, the likes of Bryson and Jhonattan Vegas have also come close here. Look for players who drive it a mile and can rack up a high birdie count.

Tony Finau makes for a logical fit at TPC Three Cities. He hits the ball as far as anyone and can go on ridiculously hot scoring streaks. But, in my opinion, he simply doesn’t win enough to justify a 12/1 price.

Hideki Matsuyama has been uber-consistent (though his wobbly putting is a concern in one of these birdie-fests). Sahith Theegala is one of the in-vogue players on tour and he was impressive in his Open Championship debut.

Elsewhere, former champions Michael Thompson and Cameron Champ will look to rejuvenate their form this week (Matthew Wolff will obviously not be in action after his decision to follow LIV Pied Piper Greg Norman).

Past Winners
2021: Cameron Champ (-15)
2020: Michael Thompson (-19)
2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)

Betting Favourites (To Win):

Tony Finau (12/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (16/1) Sungjae Im (18/1)
Adam Hadwin (22/1)
Sahith Theegala (22/1)

Value Bets

JT Poston- To Win (35/1), To Place (15/2)

Sure, I know that Poston doesn’t fit the ‘big-driver’ mould. But he sure can make a lot of putts. He missed the cut by just two shots at St Andrews. But look at his immediate form preceding the Open. He finished T2 at the Travellers and he won the John Deere Classic. Poston always has the ability to contend if that flat-stick is cooperating. And I just don’t think you can ignore that form this week (especially at that price).

Callum Tarren- To Win (125/1), To Place (25/1)

This is one where I’m following my distance instincts. Callum Tarren is one of the longest hitters in the entire field. He also comes into this event in relatively decent from (he finished T6 at the John Deere and T22 at last week’s Barracuda Championship). He could be one to watch as an outsider bet.

The Man to Beat- Brendan Steele- To Win (35/1), To Place (15/2)

This appears to be a course that rewards excellent driving. And Brendan Steele is perennially one of the best drivers on the entire tour. He currently only trails Jon Rahm, Cameron Young and Rory in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee.

He is also in decent form, picking up two top 10 finishes in his last three starts (including a T9 at the US PGA Championship). He should be licking his lips at this fairly mundane field.

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