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The PGA Tour returns to a regular schedule this week, a week after the Open Championship, and it is time for the 3M Open! Tom Jacobs is back to look at the First Round Leader market.

3M Open First Round Leader Picks and Predictions: Back Hadwin For a Fast Start

The 3M Open is up for the PGA Tour this week, and this is an event that first featured on the PGA Tour in 2019.

We are at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota for this one, and it is considered a fairly routine course, where scores will be low.

The winning score has decreased every year, going from -21 in 2019 to -19 in 2020 and finally -15 in 2021, so signs suggest it is getting slightly harder.

We are of course focused on the First Round Leader Market however, so let us focus on the opening round.

Before we begin breaking down the First Round Leader market, let me introduce you to the latest DraftKings promo code, which is free to use on this week's 3M Open. With this offer, you will claim $100 guaranteed from your first $5 bet, when placing a wager on the 3M Open. CLICK HERE or the claim button below, to add this promotion to your new DraftKings Sportsbook account signup.

3M Open First Round Leader Strategy

It looks like there may be an advantage to the early starters, as the wind gusts are down 7am v 4pm and much lower at 10am v 1pm. The general wind is typically lower in the morning as well.

Let us look whether there has been an advantage in either wave historically, over the past three years as well.

All times shown are Eastern Time

  • 2021 - Jhonattan Vegas, Rickie Fowler, Roger Sloan, Troy Merritt - 64 (-7) - Two AM/Two PM Tee Times
  • 2020 - Richy Werenski - 63 (-8) - 13:10 PM Tee Time
  • 2019 - Scott Piercy - 62 (-9) - 13:50 PM Tee Time

So history suggests the afternoon starters have an advantage here. The first two Thursday Leaders were in the afternoon wave, and last year, it was split, two from the AM and two from the PM.

With that in mind, I will split across the two waves, due to the potential weather split, but also the obvious nod to the afternoon starters.

Who in This Field Has Started Fastest on Tour This Season?

Here are the 10 fastest starters in this field based on the current Round 1 Scoring Average in the 2021/22 PGA Tour season.

  • Wyndham Clark - (8th overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 68.88) - Low Opening Round - 63 (Canadian Open)
  • Jonathan Byrd - (10th overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 68.93) - Low Opening Round - 64 (Mexico Open and RSM Classic)
  • Davis Riley - (12th overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.17) - Low Opening Round - 65 (Sony and Valspar)
  • Patton Kizzire- (16th overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.25) - Low Opening Round - 63 (Sony Open)
  • Michael Gligic - (T29 overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.50) - Low Opening Round - 64 (John Deere)
  • Adam Long- (32nd overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.54) - Low Opening Round - 66 (Houston & Mayakoba)
  • Hideki Matsuyama- (35th overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.59) - Low Opening Round - 64 (Zozo)
  • Sungjae Im- (T38 overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.63) - Low Opening Round - 63 (Shriners)
  • Jason Day - (T40 overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.64) - Low Opening Round - 63 (Wells Fargo)
  • Dylan Wu - (42nd overall in 2021/22 - Scoring Average 69.65) - Low Opening Round - 65 (Sony Open)

What Score Is Required To Lead After Round 1?

With just three renewals to look at, it was a fairly simple equation. We have seen 62, 63 and 64 lead here, so let's make 63 our target this week. An eight-under par opening round is the target here!

The Favorites in This Week's First Round Leader Market

Here are the odds for the top-10 in the 3M Open First Round Leader Market. This will give you the best price and their implied chance on each of the top-10 in the market.

NameOddsImplied Chance
Tony Finau+28003.4%
Hideki Matsuyama+33002.9%
Sungjae Im+33002.9%
Cam Davis+35002.8%
Davis Riley+37002.6%
Adam Hadwin+40002.4%
Joohyung Kim+40002.4%
Maverick McNealy+40002.4%
Sahith Theegala+40002.4%
Cameron Tringale+45002.2%

First Round Leader Selections

Adam Hadwin +4000

Adam Hadwin is one of my favorite picks this week to win this tournament, given his 4th and 6th place finishes in two starts here, in addition to strong current form.

Hadwin has recently finished 18th at Memorial and 7th at the U.S. Open, and in a three-start stretch from the PLAYERS to the Valero, he finished 9th, 7th and 4th.

27 times in his career, Hadwin has finished within two of the first round lead, including three times this year, twice last year and three times in 2020. Two of those instances this year were a round 1 co-lead at the Valspar and the outright lead in round 1 of the U.S. Open, so he's getting off to quick starts of late.

In 2019, he opened with a 64 here to sit two back of the first round lead, and followed it with rounds of 66-69-67. In 2021, he opened with a 67 to sit three back in round 1, followed it up with a 65 in round 2, which was the second best round of the day, as finished with a final-round 68.

This all makes for good reading, and at double the odds of his outright number, along with him being one of the most likely winners to win, I think it is a great bet.

Adam Hadwin will tee off #1 tee at 8:07 am with Ryan Moore and Vaughn Taylor

Adam Svensson +5000

Adam Svensson has found the form he was showing on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, and early in this PGA Tour season, that made him look like a potential contender at this level.

Long before the form he's shown in the past two seasons though, Svensson finished 15th here on his debut in 2019, charged by a second round 64. He followed that up with a 69 and a 67, so he clearly enjoyed this course.

He is a better player now, having won on the Korn Ferry Tour twice as well as contending on the PGA Tour this season, and he's now made 7 cuts in a row, including four-straight top-25 finishes.

His best came last time out, when 6th at the Barbasol Championship, where he shot a first round 62 to lead by two on day one. He also opened with a 61 to open up the 2019 Sony Open to lead by one, so that is two first round leads on the PGA Tour already.

Given his form, his previous start here in 2019 and his record in round 1 scoring, which includes 14 Thursday's where he's been within two of the lead in his career, I think he's a great option for this.

He has the opening tee time this week as well, which I love on Thursday.

Adam Svensson will tee off #1 tee at 6:50 am with Derek Lamely and Mathias Schwab

Michael Gligic +9500

Michael Gligic opened with a 67 last week, which looking at the strokeplay scores was two back of the lead.

Two weeks ago at the Barbasol he hit a second round 63, and the start before at the John Deere Classic, he opened with a 64 to sit two back of the first round lead again.

Five times on the PGA Tour he has been within two of the first round lead, since 2020, with his opening 65 at the Sanderson Farms in 2020 the closest he came to a round 1 lead, as he sat just one back.

When you include his Canadian Tour and Korn Ferry Tour form, he has been within two of the lead 18 times in his career and held two first round leads, so he has previous.

He has made 7 of his last 8 cuts, with his WD at the Canadian Open an outlier, and his T10 at the John Deere recently suggests he can compete in this field.

Gligic is top-5 in this field in terms of round 1 scoring average this season, and can start fast this Thursday.

Michael Gligic will tee off #1 tee at 13:50 with Chris Gotterup and Dawie van der Walt

Aaron Baddeley +18000

Aaron Baddeley has been within two of the first round lead 40 times in his career, including three times this year, and once each in both 2021 and 2020.

All of these previous 8 occasions have seen him sit two back, so he's not getting into the actual lead on a Thursday of late. You have to go back to the 2015 OHL Classic, where he co-led on day one, but I think he can find a revival on this golf course, with some glittering iron play of late.

In his past two made cuts, he's finished 4th in the field in SG Approach and if he can bring that and a hot putter to Minnesota on Thursday, he has a chance to threaten the top of the leaderboard.

In a long career, five first round leads aren't a lot to write home about and four of them were co-leads, but I think he can push towards the top of the leaderboard this Thursday again.

On his debut at this course in 2020 he opened his week with a 66 and closed with a 64, and in 2021 he shot rounds of 68 and 67 as well, so he clearly likes this layout.

Aaron Baddeley will tee off #10 tee at 13:17 with Camilo Villegas and Jonas Blixt

Article Author


Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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