The eventful major championship season has come to a close, but there is still a ton of golf left to be played as the wild super season of the PGA Tour reaches its conclusion. This week's 3M Open marks the beginning of a six-even sprint to the end of the season, which will culminate on Labor Day with the Tour Championship. Though the field is understandably a bit down following the Open Championship last week at Royal St. George's, there are still four top-20 players in the world teeing it up, including one who was very much in the mix last week in England.
Let's take a closer look at this week's contest with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Event: 3M Open | Dates: July 22-25
Location: TPC Twin Cities -- Blaine, Minnesota
Par: 71 | Purse: $6.6 million
Three things to know
1. Underrated event: There have only been two iterations of this golf tournament, and both have been pretty awesome. Granted, neither followed a major championship, but the first time around in 2019 we got Matthew Wolff making an eagle on the last hole to beat Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa (three combined majors now) by a stroke. That one will age well. Last year, Michael Thompson held off an eclectic field that included Tony Finau, Max Homa and Charles Howell III. While that didn't have the same punch as a Wolff victory, Thompson's story is a great one and his victory was extremely popular. Here's to another win as good as those two.
2. Oosthuizen makes the trek: I'm a bit surprised to see Louis Oosthuizen again so soon after another near-miss at the Open Championship. It would be equal parts cruel and heartwarming to see him get a win this week after a season of close calls and no trophies. Maybe more shocking than the fact that he has not won another major since his 2010 Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews is the fact that he's played over 200 PGA Tour events with just that single victory.
3. FedEx fight: Speaking of Thompson, he's six spots outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup right now. He doesn't have to worry about keeping his PGA Tour card next season, but there are some other golfers right around him who will (golfers like Chesson Hadley, Bo Hoag and Chase Seiffert). There are also some monster names in this tournament who, like Thompson, don't have to worry about extending their Tour membership, but it would be odd to not see them in the FedEx Cup Playoffs here in a month. Rickie Fowler is currently No. 124 and in the field at the 3M. Gary Woodland is No. 127 and also in the 3M. Tommy Fleetwood (No. 128) and Justin Rose (No. 129) are not in the field this week.
Grading the field
Given that it's halfway around the world the week after the last event of a grueling 11-month major schedule and the week before the Olympics, which is halfway around the world the other way, this is a pretty decent field! Four of the top 20 in the OWGR (Dustin Johnson, Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau) as well as Wolff, Stewart Cink, Robert MacIntyre (who is trying to play his way onto the European Ryder Cup team), Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson will be in attendance. Grade: B-
2021 3M Open Classic picks
|Winner (15/2): It's not a great number, but if we're looking at just a straight-up winner, this would be very fitting. D.J. quietly has four consecutive top 25s, and he could completely close the circle on his 78-WD here last year by winning it one year later. Iron play has unquestionably been a problem, but he's trending in the right direction there and coming off a nice showing at Royal St. George's.|
|Top 10 (3-1): Garcia has four straight top 20s and is peaking just in time for ... [checks notes] yes, this is a Ryder Cup year. He's top 15 in this field in strokes gained tee to green over his last 20 rounds and brings a T19 with him from the Open Championship. In a weaker field, he should be fairly dominant with his iron play.|
|Sleeper (66-1): This is a golf course that should help Reavie, who is not long off the tee. Since June 1, he's among the top five players in this field from tee to green, and following a long string of missed cuts in the spring, he suddenly has top 25s in three of his last six tournaments.|