The Confidence Factor: 3M Open Preview 2019

I’ve heard there are only two seasons in Minnesota.

Winter and the 4th of July.

Thankfully it’s the 4th of July!

I GOT JOKES PEOPLE.

3M Open

TPC Twin Cities

Blaine, Minnesota

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,468
Par: 71 (35-36)
Greens: 6,500 square feet; Bentgrass.
Stimpmeter: 12 feet.
Rough:  Kentucky Bluegrass and fescue at 3.5 inches.
Bunkers: 72
Water Hazards: 27
Architect(s): Arnold Palmer (2000); Steve Wenzloff (2018).
Purse: $6.4 million.

500 FedExCup Points. $1.152 million (winner).

Defending Champion: Inaugural event.
Notes: Top 70 and ties make the cut.

Previous Winners: Returns next week

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
   
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Brooks Koepka
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**
Farmers Insurance Open Justin Rose
Waste Management Rickie Fowler
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Phil Mickelson
Genesis Open J.B. Holmes
WGC-Mexico Championship Dustin Johnson
The Honda Classic Keith Mitchell**
Arnold Palmer Invitational Francesco Molinari
THE PLAYERS Rory McIlroy
Valspar Championship Paul Casey
WGC-Match Play Kevin Kisner
Corales Punta Cana Graeme McDowell
Valero Texas Open Corey Conners**
83rd Masters Tournament Tiger Woods
RBC Heritage C.T. Pan**
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Ryan Palmer & Jon Rahm (2)
Wells Fargo Championship Max Homa**
AT&T Byron Nelson Sung Kang**
PGA Championship Brooks Koepka (2)
Charles Schwab Challenge Kevin Na
Memorial Patrick Cantlay
RBC Canadian Open Rory McIlroy (2)
United States Open Gary Woodland
Travelers Championship Chez Reavie
Rocket Mortgage Classic Nate Lashley**

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record: Inaugural Event.
Odd Fact: Played on the Champions Tour from 2001 until last August.
Odd Fact II: Ranked in the top two of events with the most birdies on Champions Tour over the last SEVEN years.

The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you.

Thoughts

Boom goes the dynamite.

Again.

After 20-something-under won by six last week I would think we’re in for a repeat performance.

Tom Lehman can add all the bunkers he wants. He can also pinch all of the fairways he chooses. It’s not going to matter.

Go. Low. Yo.

Old guys don’t putt well but the Champions Tour winners here the last four years posted these winning totals:

2018: Kenny Perry (-21)

2017: Paul Goydos ( -20)

2016: Joe Durant (-19)

2015: Kenny Perry (-18)

Three things jump out above:

1.) THESE WERE 54-HOLE EVENTS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

2.) It was Par-72.

3.) None of those dudes are considered great putters.

I understand there are 27 water hazards and 72 bunkers but these guys are really good.

If you’re looking for dots to connect, Kenny Perry won at Colonial and Memorial over the years so start there. Paul Goydos shot 59 at TPC Deere Run and lost in playoff to Sergio Garcia at THE PLAYERS. Didn’t Joe Durant shoot 30-something under in the desert one January? I don’t have time to look that up but you get the general idea.

If the course is “harder” than it was last week because of said improvements, the chalk should elevate this week.

Plus, there’s more chalk than was on the board last week in Detroit.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see some “unknowns” hit the top 20 again this week as impending par-breakers tend to mellow everyone out. How many guys broke out of nasty slumps last week?

Reed, Potter, Poston, Garnett, Gooch and McCarthy are just a few in the top 21 that had very quiet spring results.

With a few holes that are drivable, risk-rewardy plus three Par-5 chances, we’ll see how the risk is managed. All gas and no brakes probably isn’t the best theory this week but MAN IT WILL BE TEMPTING.

The Chalk

Bryson DeChambeau: Moving in the right direction after a solid U.S. Open and T8 at Travelers. The names of the winners above should inspire his putter this week but he doesn’t need much help. He leads the TOUR in birdie-or-better conversion percentage so keep the tee-to-green game dialed in!

Jason Day: Bomb it. Find it. Wedge it on and hole putts on perfect greens. Similar to Dechambeau, he’s turning the corner with Williams on the bag and I’m not going to be late for the dance.

Hideki Matsuyama: Three really good rounds last week had him in contention for the B Flight before a final round 70 stalled him out. I’ll point out he’s had plenty of success at Memorial over the years as well.

Patrick Reed: FADE FADE FADE FADE NO TAKE TAKE TAKE TAKE. Gah. He always plays tons of events and he should smell blood in the water again this week. Big targets for recovery shots should enhance his chance but his putter needs to find another gear.

Viktor Hovland: If you didn’t figure it out at Pebble Beach, his bogey-free 64 to close (T13) last week should have pushed you over the finish line. LeeeGit.

Rory Sabbatini: Don’t wake him up! Another excellent performance last week, his FIFTH top 10 in eight events, confirms he’s not satisfied.

Joaquin Niemann: T5 and T5 his last two. No need to over think this. He’ll enjoy some easier greens and it wouldn’t surprise me if he breaks out.

Kevin Streelman: Peeled off seven of eight, which includes four cashes in the top 15. Solo fourth at Memorial is the best of the bunch. His last three he’s 32-under.

Scott Piercy: Explosive tendencies mesh well with 17 paychecks in 20 events this year. His T2 at Trinity Forest included a 63-64 weekend.

Keegan Bradley: T2 at Travelers as he couldn’t run down Chez Reavie doesn’t scare me off. His ball-striking is always the foundation but he’s doing something on the greens as he opened with 63 at Hamilton and 65 at TPC River Highlands.

Cameron Tringale: The married iteration is FLYING along since his nuptials in late January. I wouldn’t be surprised if a baby announcement was around the corner as well as he’s played since Valero (5 of 7 T23 or better). Had a chance to win last week (B Flight) but petered out with 71 on Sunday (T5).

Sungjae Im: Make birdies. Shoot in 60s. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this was the week since I played him in OAD LAST week.

Kevin Na: Posted 62 at Colonial in Round 2 before winning on Sunday as we know he’s not averse to making tons of birdies. Super short game is the rock.

Doc Redman: Caught my eye last week with 62 in the Monday Qualifier. Had a taste of him in my weekly game that paid nicely so I’m not abandoning ship on HAWT GOLF. Dude won the U.S. Am in 2017 so he’s not exactly faking it here.

Mystery Men

Tony Finau: MC X 3 entering the week. The talent is never the question. I’m hoping the week off after Travelers charged his battery and a course that will require a ton of birdies will have his attention. He’s like Reed last week for me this week.

Brooks Koepka: Big week with the new thong pic, new logo/branding and new website makes me wobble in fantasy land. His GAS tank in non-majors is always an interesting subject and this week isn’t any different. Pass, for me.

Next Tier

Peter Malnati: At one time last week he was in the mix with two other SFC champs (Champ, Armour) before finishing T31. He’s cashed T31 or better eight times in 2019 and has made six cuts on the bounce.

Nate Lashley: He played so well in all facets last week that I can’t see him “forgetting” it all this week. Winning for the first time on TOUR is a big honking deal and it truly does change everything. My heart says go go go but my wallet maybe not so much.

Wyndham Clark: Plenty of pedigree and he’s starting to figure it out on TOUR. His last 10 rounds are 70 or better and those were on smallish greens. He’s 23-under over those three events and that includes MC. Bigger targets will help this week because he’s an elite putter.

Collin Morikawa: Yep, this bullish. T36 or better in three starts as a pro and that includes the U.S. Open.

J.J. Spaun: Rattled off seven of eight and T13 last week was the best of the bunch.

Mackenzie Hughes: Posted his best of four straight at Colonial on Bentgrass (T8). Needs to put four together but that’s the next step.

Martin Laird: Blew into six consecutive weekends before his 3-under didn’t cut it at Detroit. Posting 3-under and going home early isn’t bad golf.

Jason Dufner: I usually don’t like the MC brigade the following week but when 70-70 last week (-4) wasn’t good enough, I’m changing my tune. Flashed at Colonial and finished T7 at Memorial, I’m taking a deep look at Jason Perry Dufner.

Sepp Straka: Top 55 in too many categories this week to ignore. Last seven rounds 70 or better and has cashed in four of five.

Jimmy Walker: Anytime a putting contest breaks out and a boatload of birdies is needed, I’m looking this way. T35 or better in four of his last five with the only stumble a MC at Pebble Beach.

Long Shots

Harris English: 6 straight but only one top 25. I like cut makers.

Wes Roach: Racked up his best finish on TOUR last week with T3, his best anywhere since 2015. Led the field in SG: TTG last week. Ride or die.

Hank Lebioda: Can’t get mad at a guy who posts 3-under and gets cut. Playing well tee-to-green and makes plenty of birdies.

Sung Kang: I know, I know, I know but it seems like he has the course record EVERYWHERE.

Keith Mitchell: Those who struggle on the greens this week might just find solace here.

Tom Hoge: IT’S NAWT A SANDWICH OK? Seven of eight. His THR/FRI isn’t the problem. He’s won the Minnesota amateur twice after making the trip over from North Dakota.

Josh Teater: Veteran ball-striker has been paid in his last four. So has Nick Taylor.

Adam Long: Backed up his T21 in Connecticut with MC (-4) last week. Super last-man pick.

Jonas Blixt: 67-64 followed by 67-67 followed by MC followed by 67-68 last week.

Talor Gooch: Made half of his last 10 cuts but his worst finish is T35. Big risk/reward play especially after he was fourth BOB% last week.

Charlie Danielson: Big Bucky Badger native has a recent pair of top 10 paychecks on the Mackenzie Tour and made the cut at the U.S. Open. Might surprise this week.

Bronson Burgoon: He was eight under after 36 holes at Travelers. He was eight under after 36 holes last week. Elevator up.

Fades

Bigger names struggling at the moment

Phil Mickelson: I’m good. No, thanks. He’s too busy enjoying his newfound celebrity status on the internet. Lefty is really good at that as well, even more so than his golf at the moment.

Charles Howell III: https://twitter.com/PGATOURSMartin/status/1144736210117636096

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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