Dates: July 27, 2023 to July 30, 2023
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Course: TPC Twin Cities
Course Par: 71
Course Length: 7431
Prize Purse: $7800000
Major season is now behind us and the focus switches to the FedEx Cup playoffs and Ryder Cup (Rridah Cup for the benefit of my friends who have competed for 20 years at the same time(Scottish & Irish against the English) and arguably more competitive with beer). both of which are tantalisingly close. It’s perhaps surprising to see several of the world’s top players get straight back into action at the 3M Open, although some of them (step forward Justin Thomas) still have some work to do to secure enough FedEx points to make the first of the three playoff events.
|Player||Points||Type||UK Odds||Places||Outright US Odds|
|Gary Woodland||3||Each Way||35/1||10||+4000|
|Aaron Rai||2||Each Way||45/1||10||+4500|
|Ludvig Aberg||2.5||Each Way||28/1||10||+2800|
|Sahith Theegala||2||Each Way||40/1||10||+4500|
The player that jumps off the page as most closely meeting the profile we’re looking for this week is
Gary Woodland (3pts each way, 33/1, 10 places). Long off the tee and gaining all of his ground in
that department and on approach, this could well be an opportunity for him to get away with some
less-than-stellar short game. His recent form isn’t hugely exciting, but a string of consecutive made
cuts and respectable finishes in both the Scottish Open and The Open are enough to make him one
of the most likely contenders here, particularly if the market leaders fail to perform. Yes he’s made
the long trip back across the pond, but he’s worth taking a chance on, particularly given that his 90 th
place in the current FedEx standings means that he should be fully focused on the job in hand.
Aaron Rai (2pts each way, 50/1, 8 places) is our second selection and benefits from having missed
The Open, despite a strong top 10 finish in the Scottish the previous week. Although a touch shorter
off the tee than Woodland, he otherwise boasts a similar profile, with long game being his strength
and his weakness being on the greens. I’d always be happy to overlook him in any event where
putting is at a premium, but this could very well be the time to have him onside.
We’ve written before about the raw talent of Ludvig Aberg (2.5pts each way, 33/1, 10 places) and it
wasn’t long before he was starting to be talked about as a potential wild card for the European
Ryder Cup team, despite his lack of experience on the big stage. A pick for Luke Donald’s side might
just be a bit more than he is ready for at this stage in his career, but he has already shown more than
enough to think he can be very competitive on the PGA Tour, particularly in events like we have on
offer this week. An absolute beast off the tee, as he builds experience he can be expected to finesse
and improve the other aspects of his game, so we’ll put him up as a pick again in the hope that he
can convert his first win sooner rather than later. A missed cut in the Scottish Open doesn’t concern
us given that he will have had limited competitive links experience, and a week of since then will
more than likely have helped his preparation here.
Finally, and despite a couple of missed cuts whilst in the UK, Sahith Theegala (2pts each way, 33/1, 8
places) looks a touch overpriced based on his general level of ability versus others around him in the
market. Long touted as one of the players most likely to be the next to secure their maiden Tour
title, while he doesn’t perfectly fit the stats profile we’re looking for here, he’s easy enough to pick
on all-round play and value grounds.
Emiliano Grillo was particularly hard to leave out on general recent form and a second-placed finish
in this event last year, but he’ll have had a tough four days at The Open and so we’re happy enough
to just have four players on the staking plan this week.
If you want a long range punt, a small wager of Stewart Cink might be worth it. Despite just turning 50 and eligible for the senior tour he is still exempt on the main tour for another 18 months. He is currently playing with the freedom of a man who has plenty of options in the tank.