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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 3M Open

Hello PGA DFS family and welcome back to Horse For The Course! Collin Morikawa continued his assault on golf's record books at Royal St. George's by capturing the Claret Jug in his Open Championship debut. It marks the second major championship for the 24-year-old phenom and we have to expect there are many more to come. While we didn't have Morikawa in last week's HFTC, it was still a very strong overall week for this article, as three of our highlighted players finished T6 or better, including a runner-up from Jordan Spieth, a T3 from Louis Oosthuizen, and a T6 by Brooks Koepka!

With the last major championship of 2021 now officially in the books, we change gears a bit as we head to Minnesota for the 3M Open, a tournament that's in just its third edition and has produced lots of birdies in its first two iterations.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

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2021 3M Open Overview

A pretty big change from last week's Open Championship to this week's 3M Open, as there's a stark contrast in the quality of the field, as well as the type of golf we can expect. The 3M is still in its infancy on the PGA Tour schedule and this week will mark just the third edition of the event. For that reason, we don't have a ton of course history to work with in this week's HFTC, but we'll draw as much as we can from the two previous editions of the 3M and highlight only players that have played in both years of the event.

Speaking of the two previous editions...we've seen two noticeably-different types of players emerge victorious from this TPC Twin Cities layout, as Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson have very little in common. However, the secret sauce for both 3M winners was extremely sharp iron play and the ability to make tons of birdies, as each gained over seven strokes on Approach en route to victory in Minnesota.

Thompson will be back to defend and Wolff is also set to tee it up after electing to skip last week's Open Championship. Some notables that will be making the trip from Royal St. George's to Minnesota include Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, and Louis Oosthuizen...though I do expect some WDs from that group and recommend that you keep an eye on news over the next couple of days. In a special personal note, amateur Ryan Hall will be one of the event's Sponsor's Exemptions this week. Why is that noteworthy? Ryan happens to have grown up playing at my home club here in Knoxville, TN... a reminder that I'm officially old. I can tell you guys that he's an unbelievably hard worker with tons of game and that many of us here at home will be cheering him on this week!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


The Course: TPC Twin Cities

Par 71 - 7,431 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass, Architect: Arnold Palmer

It seems like we've been here several times over the last few weeks...a golf course that will produce TONS of birdies. TPC Twin Cities is, like other TPC facilities, geared towards exciting, fan-friendly golf and while that's not a bad thing for fans, it does make things difficult from a DFS perspective, as basically anyone in the field that gets hot with the putter and the irons over four days can win this event.

As it is seemingly every week, Approach play is paramount at TPC Twin Cities, as both 3M winners, Matt Wolff & Michael Thompson, gained over seven strokes with their irons en route to their respective victories in Minnesota. These fairways are massively wide, which does make me bump up driving distance a notch this week, though length isn't totally necessary for success. While we're likely to see a winning score of at least 20-under par this week, there are some big numbers lurking with water in play on 14 holes.

For an in-depth breakdown of this week's course, check out RotoBaller's PGA Premium Course Breakdown by Josh Bennett!


Recent 3M Champions

  • 2020: Michael Thompson (-19)
  • 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)
  • 2018: N/A
  • 2017: N/A
  • 2016: N/A


The Horse

Tony Finau

Notable Course History: T3 (2020), T23 ('19)
DraftKings Price: $10,700 FanDuel Price: $10,900

I'm not gonna lie...this week's HFTC comes with some challenges. In addition to just a two-year sample size at the 3M, we're also dealing with a field that's more John Deere Classic than British Open. So, with minimal elite options, I'll go with Tony Finau as this week's Horse. Finau is one of the few top-tier players in the field that has both teed it up in each edition of the 3M and found success in both years. He (big surprise) let a chance to win last year's 3M slip through his fingers in the final round, ultimately settling for a share of third place, and also notched a solid T23 back in 2019.

Why am I a little reluctant when it comes to him this week? Well, he hasn't played great as of late. Prior to a T15 last week at Royal St. George's, Finau had missed the cut in each of his last two starts, losing strokes T2G at both the U.S. Open and the Travelers. Why am I willing to saddle him up then? Both his long-term form and last week's outing indicate that those starts were just a blip on the radar screen and Finau does stand out as one of the few truly elite players on this DFS salary scale. We all know about the win equity issues, but for lack of a better narrative argument, Finau has to win at some point, right? Right?!?


The Ponies

Matthew Wolff

Notable Course History: T12 ('20), Win ('19)
DraftKings Price: $9,700 FanDuel Price: $10,200

There aren't many things in life that are scarier than a $9.7k Matthew Wolff (although a $9.9k Sergio Garcia is one of them), but DFS pricing is always relative from week to week, and in the specific case of the 3M, I'm willing to give the volatile Wolff a look at this price, as I believe he does carry legitimate tournament-winning upside.

Since its inaugural edition in 2019, the young star has gained more total strokes in the 3M than anyone (+22.04) and by following up his 2019 win with a T12 last year he demonstrated that he certainly has an affinity for TPC Twin Cities. If you follow golf at all then you know this has been a strange year for Wolff, as he elected to step away from the game for almost four months. The 22-year-old reminded us just how explosive he could be when he finally did return for the U.S. Open and logged a T15. Wolff racked up a Birdie Or Better total of 17 at Torrey Pines, a total that was tied for the most in the field. He's now gained strokes T2G in two of his three starts since returning to golf and he heads to the 3M rested and relaxed after electing to skip the Open last week. Yes, he's an extremely unpredictable player, but Wolff's elite course history suggests he warrants serious DFS consideration on this spotty slate.

Cameron Tringale

Notable Course History: T3 ('20), T42 ('19)
DraftKings Price: $9,500 FanDuel Price: $10,900

Hmmm....what should we do with a $9.5k Cameron Tringale? My initial reaction would be to pass due to this season-high DFS price tag, but upon closer inspection, Tringale deserves serious consideration, as he possesses a strong blend of good course history and solid recent form.

Tringale has played excellent golf throughout 2021, making the cut in 13 of 17 starts, while posting a top-five with a pair of top-10s among those. He's ranked ninth in this week's field in SG: Total over the last 24 rounds. He's also been sharp in two prior starts at TPC Twin Cities, recording a T3 last year and a T42 in 2019. No, I'm honestly not crazy about Tringale at this price point, but if it's high enough to swing the ownership pendulum away from him, he makes for an interesting GPP option.


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Hank Lebioda

Notable Course History: T26 ('20), T34 ('19)
DraftKings Price: $7,900 FanDuel Price: $9,700

One of the hottest golfers in the world at the moment is...double checks notes...Hank Lebioda? Yep, it sounds pretty crazy if you say it out loud, but Hammerin' Hank has unquestionably been dazzling as of late. The little-known lefty has went T5-T4-T8 over his last three starts on the PGA Tour on the strength of overall excellence that helps him to grade out second in this week's field in SG: Total over the last 24 rounds. He brings that white-hot form to a TPC Twin Cities layout on which he's played well in his two previous 3M appearances. On a weak and screwy salary scale with multiple inflated price tags, Lebioda actually strikes me as underpriced this week, as this level of competition is extremely similar to the fields he's thrived against recently.

Charles Howell III

Notable Course History: T3 ('20), T23 ('19)
DraftKings Price: $7,700 FanDuel Price: $8,400

I'm not even gonna pretend that this is an exciting or even slightly interesting pick. This is undoubtedly vanilla ice cream served up in a cardboard cup. However, Charles Howell III has made a whole bunch of money in his career in basically a handful of select tournaments. In other words, he plays well repeatedly on the same golf courses and collects big paychecks for doing so. TPC Twin Cities is proving to be one of those ATM spots for the veteran, as CH3 has went T3-T23 over his two 3M starts. He also comes in off a top-25 at the John Deere Classic in what was his best SG: T2G performance since March. Sometimes we can simply follow the money and Howell has left Minnesota with a pocketful in each of his previous trips to this golf course.


Win Big With RotoBaller

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