The sport of golf has been steadily churning out events as the sport continues its return while we inch closer to the first major of the year. Following a two-week stay in Ohio for the Workday Charity Open and Memorial Tournament, the PGA Tour heads to Minnesota for the 3M Open this week.
Even with a WGC event and the PGA Championship in the next two weeks, there's still plenty to look forward to this week in Minnesota. Some big stars -- and fast-rising prospects -- are in this huge field and looking to add a win to their resume. Just like Matthew Wolff, who is looking to go back-to-back at this event after edging Collin Morikawa a year ago.
Let's take a closer look at this week's contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: 3M Open
When: July 23-26
Where: TPC Twin Cities -- Blaine, Minnesota
Three things to know
1. U.S. Open? Last week, Mackenzie Hughes and Ryan Palmer earned spots the U.S. Open in September by being the two-highest finishers in the top 10 at the Memorial Tournament. This week, there are two more spots up for grabs, and they'll likely be more coveted as more players in this week's field are not yet exempt for Winged Foot. Getting into the U.S. Open is a big deal, so there could be two parallel games going on Sunday -- the battle for the 3M Open and the battle to get into this year's U.S. Open.
2. Struggling stars: Dustin Johnson shot 80-80 last week. Brooks Koepka currently would not be included in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Tony Finau melted down over the weekend at Muirfield Village. There are several ways to dice up this field, but stars who are going through some professional adversity (to varying degrees) is one of the most interesting as the golf unfolds this weekend.
3. Tommy Fleetwood returns: The English star hasn't been seen on the course since the Players Championship in March, where he shot 78 in Round 1 before the event was canceled. It was a weird run for him, too. He took five top 11s in six events into the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March but missed the cut there before that 78. I'm fascinated to see where his game is at this week at TPC Twin Cities.
Grading the field
It's not bad, and it's certainly a field I would have taken at any point when we didn't have golf during the three-month pause. But when you compare it to some of the fields we've had thus far (and will have over the next two weeks at the WGC event and PGA Championship), it doesn't quite live up to current standards. Still, Johnson, Koepka, Finu, Casey and Fleetwood is a nice little Ryder Cup fivesome topping the betting favorites. There are still plenty of narratives to draw from this week, and several of them come at the very top of this field. Grade: A-
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Two interesting bets
1. Brooks Koepka to miss the cut (+300): Koepka has been so volatile this year and said at the end of last week that his left knee still isn't right. This event will be a scoring-fest, and if he's not ready to get up and get after it, then he'll be watching from home this weekend. (This means he'll now probably win the tournament).
2. Russell Henley to top 10 (+350): Henley is normally a great putter, but he hasn't rolled it very well so far this year. Still, he finished T7 at the Workday Charity Open a few weeks ago, and I love that number for him to do so again this week at TPC Twin Cities.
3M Open picks
|Winner (33-1): Quietly playing maybe the best golf of his life. English is a top-10 player in strokes gained overall and top 20 from tee to green. He's had two top 20s in a row including a tough T13 at last week's Memorial Tournament. There's no reason he should be any worse than 20-1 or 25-1 at this event.|
|Top 10 (+150): Of all the big names in the field, Finau is playing the best golf. Another guy who's top 20 in both strokes gained from tee to green and strokes gained overall. He was unbelievable for the first two days last week at the Memorial before fading hard on Saturday and Sunday. Still, he finished 8th despite the fade, his fifth top 10 of the year. He's not doing anything unusual either. In fact, if the season ended today, he would have posted his worst strokes-gained season in the last four years. Elite talent, though he hasn't won. Perfect for top 10s.|
|Sleeper (50-1): The doctor has been unbelievable from tee to green and below where he's normally at on and around the greens. A missed cut last week at Muirfield Village doesn't bother me much as he had three straight top 25s before that. Good spot in a mediocre field for him to make some noise.|
Who will win the 3M Open, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed six golf majors and was extremely high on last week's winner, Jon Rahm.