3M Open Picks and Predictions: Look for Adam Svensson, Nick Hardy to Make Runs
3M Open Picks and Predictions: Look for Svensson, Hardy to Make Runs
The 3M Open was a Champions Tour event for 26 years before finally getting the call-up in 2019 to join the PGA Tour schedule. Every single year since its inception, we have been treated to an exciting finish. Michael Wolff won in a playoff over Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa in 2019. Michael Thompson pulled off a tremendous bunker shot to claim victory in 2020, and Cameron Champ held on for his third PGA Tour victory last year. While this tournament certainly suffers from an un-enviable position on the schedule following the final major championship of the year, the field is still packed with worthy challengers. Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, and Cameron Tringale will be all be making the trip from Scotland, while a new crop of young talent such as Sahith Theegala, Davis Riley, and Chris Gotterup will be looking to collect their first PGA Tour victory in the Twin Cities.
3M Open Course Preview
TPC Twin Cities
TPC Twin Cities was designed in 2000 by Arnold Palmer, but experienced a complete re-design in 2018 by Tim Herron and Tom Lehman prior to the first 3M Open. The Palmer design plays as a Par 71, tipping out to 7,431 yards on the scorecard with generous landing area, and large, flat Bent-grass greens. TPC Twin Cities is a pretty standard, run of the mill PGA Tour course, and it has a lot in common with the other TPC properties on the schedule. Its defining characteristic is water, which comes into play on 15 of 18 holes. For this reason, TPC Twin Cities bears similar resemblance to golf courses in Florida, where the main strategy is to keep the ball out of the water at all costs.
The Palmer design is not a short course by any means, and players will be tested with a high plurality of mid to long iron shots, a far cry from what we saw last week at St. Andrew's. Under soft conditions in 2019 and 2020, TPC Twin Cities was one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule. Yet the course showed some more teeth last year as only 15-under par was required to claim victory. Still, players will need to be aggressive and score here. 50% of the holes feature over a 20% birdie rate, so opportunities will be abundant. Ultimately, TPC Twin Cities is a golf course that features a great deal of variance, which can be explained by the amount of water. The course ranked fifth out of 40 courses last year in penalty strokes per round. We'll see our fare share of low scores and our fare share of big numbers this week at TPC Twin Cities, which should provide for an exciting tournament to watch down the stretch.
3M Open Picks
3M Open Key Stats
- Good Drive Percentage
- Birdies or Better Gained
- Proximity from 175 yards plus
Without further ado, let's dig into my outright 3M Open picks for the weekend.
3M Open Picks and Predictions: Outright Winner
Nick Hardy (+4000) (Bet $100 to Win $4,000)*
After putting the finishing touches on a respectable 13th-place finish at the Barracuda Championship, Hardy has now finished in the top-35 in his last five starts, including an impressive 14th-place finish at the U.S. Open. What's even more encouraging is that all of those finishes have come on Bent-grass, which going back to his days on the Korn Ferry Tour, has always been the Illinois native's preferred surface. The 26-year-old is one of the better drivers of the golf ball in the entire field, and I firmly believe that positioning off the tee at TPC Twin Cities will be crucial in determining our champion this week. I expect Hardy to be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon.
Adam Svensson (+4200) (Bet $100 to Win $4,200)
Adam Svensson has become a near weekly feature of this column, and I see no reason to hop off the bandwagon now. The Canadian finished 15th at TPC Twin Cities in his only appearance, gaining a whopping 12.1 strokes from tee to green while losing 5.1 strokes putting. He hit the ball well enough to win the tournament that week, and his putting has vastly improved since then. The 28-year-old has now gained strokes putting in seven consecutive starts, and he is coming off a sixth-place finish at the Barbasol where he gained 2.4 strokes off the tee and 7.4 strokes on approach. My numbers suggest that Svensson is actually one of the better ball-strikers in the entire field, and it's only a matter of time before his inevitable breakthrough.
Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.