The 3M Open was announced by the PGA Tour in 2018 with the new tournament slated to begin the following year. Although it was a brand new event, it was almost seen as a promotion of the 3M Championship which had been a popular PGA Tour Champions event for over 25 years.
Like the 3M Championship, the 3M Open is held at TPC Twin Cities. The course is one of the finest in 3M’s home state of Minnesota, 3M being a large multinational company. Scoring is not particularly difficult at the 7,431 yard layout but the first couple of editions showed that it is a course that has a propensity for throwing up dramatic finishes. Adding to the sense of occasion are the fans who are very loud and create a great atmosphere, no doubt aiding the drama.
Betting Tips for 22nd to 25th July 2021
Louis Oosthuizen suffered another tough finish to a major championship last week. The South African could be forgiven for having a week off but he is getting right back on the horse, competing in the 3M Open. The first two editions of this tournament suggest that this could actually provide some respite for Oosthuizen and the others who have made their way over from Kent.
TPC Twin Cities was never a tough test when the 3M Open took place on the Champions Tour. Work was undertaken on the course to try and ensure that it was not a walkover when the 3M Open was promoted to the PGA Tour but winning scores of -21 and -19 for Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson respectively show that it still borders on being a pushover.
Oosthuizen will find birdies easier to come by in Minnesota than he did on Sunday in Sandwich but will he have the required motivation to maintain the required pace of scoring? If the second favourite is one to avoid this week then maybe the favourite is one to back with Dustin Johnson available at a best price of 15/2. Johnson’s form has dipped by his own high standards and he very much wants to return to the top of the world rankings. A gettable resort course could be just the ticket for Johnson who has all the tools required to go seriously low.
Motivation won’t be an issue for Robert MacIntyre. He took the decision to compete on the PGA Tour when his top 10 finish at the Open earned him a place in the field because there are more Ryder Cup points available than on the European Tour this week. The Scottish star is doing all he can to make Padraig Harrington’s team and looks set for a big week at odds of 28/1. Finally, consider backing Ryan Moore each way at a generous-looking price of 66/1. He belatedly got the hang of TPC Twin Cities on his second crack at this event last year, has a very good game for this test and comes into the event on the back of a runner up finish at the John Deere Classic.
|2021||TPC Twin Cities||Cameron Champ|
|2020||TPC Twin Cities||Michael Thompson|
|2019||TPC Twin Cities||Matthew Wolff|
2021: Cameron Champ
Variance is the name of the game at the top level of golf week on the PGA Tour, somebody takes their usual game up a level with something that they haven’t shown previously. That was very much the case for Cameron Champ in the 3m Open. We all know Champ as one of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour but rarely before have we seen him putt quite as well as he did at TPC Twin Cities.
In hindsight, the signs were there that Champ was primed for a good week in Minnesota. He gained strokes on the competition with his putter for just the third time of the season last week and then clearly found something with the flat stick as he gained an average of over two strokes per round with his putting in the 3m Open. Champ also had one of his best weeks of the year in terms of his approach play while he was more cautious off the tee than usual.
Champ’s power is always going to be his main weapon but he showed at the 2021 3m Open that he is much more than just a bomb and gauge golfer. His two-stroke victory over Louis Oosthuizen – who suffered yet another high profile defeat when leading at the 54-hole stage – was Champ’s third PGA Tour title. That is impressive for a 26 year old and there should be many more wins to come.
2020: Michael Thompson
The first two editions of the 3M Open did wonders for this fledging tournament. After the drama and brilliance of Matthew Wolff’s win in 2019, Michael Thompson made a late surge of his own to get his hands on the trophy. Two birdies in his final three holes was enough for Thompson to finish on -19, two shots clear of Adam Long who also had a very good Sunday, shooting -7 for his final 18 holes to set the clubhouse lead five groups ahead of the final pairing.
In muggy, uncomfortable conditions throughout the week, it was solid approach play and dependable putting that made the difference for Thompson. Nobody who made the cut gained more strokes on the field with their putter than the 35-year-old who ended a wait of more than seven years after his victory at the Honda Classic for a second PGA Tour title.
As with any golf tournament, the elation of the winner was matched by dejection from those who couldn’t quite do enough. Defending champion, Matthew Wolff, found himself in a position to challenge on Sunday but saw his round tail off when it really mattered, while more questions will be asked about Tony Finau’s ability to handle pressure as another good chance for a win petered out with his chipping and putting principally to blame.
2019: Matthew Wolff
The American college golf system has always produced excellent golfers who have gone on to big things. In recent years though youngsters from college are requiring less and less time to acclimatise to the PGA Tour. Despite his eccentric swing, Matthew Wolff is certainly a case in point. He became a PGA Tour winner at the 3M Open just six weeks after winning the NCAA individual title with Oklahoma State in only his third start as a professional golfer.
Wolff showed an incredible ability to come up with the goods when the pressure is at its highest by holing an eagle putt from 26 feet on the final hole. He was not the only recent graduate from the college ranks to impress in Blaine, Minnesota though. His playing partner, Collin Morikawa, had also recently turned pro and had an eagle putt of his own to tie Wolff at the end of 72 holes. That came up short to hand the title to an understandably emotional Wolff.
The large crowds who crammed around the 18th green at TPC Twin Cities were treated to a fantastic show in the inaugural edition of the 3M Open. Just minutes before the drama unfolder in the final group, Bryson DeChambeau made an eagle of his own in the group ahead to become the clubhouse leader. Wolff was not to be denied though in what will surely be the first win of many.