By News Team
21st July 2021
Fresh off Collin Morikawa’s brilliant performance at the Open, we’re back stateside for the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota. The tournament is only in its infancy with this being just the third staging, but given we’ve had winning scores of -21 and -19 so far, we can expect a birdie-fest.
So, get ready for plenty of entertainment over the next four days from Thursday and here is our preview.
Front of the market looks opposable
It’s perhaps unsurprising that the field isn’t stacked with quality given the big distance between Royal St George’s and TPC Twin Cities, but world number two Dustin Johnson and world number nine Louis Oosthuizen are in attendance, as are Tony Finau and Patrick Reed. Johnson (7/1) is a fair market leader given he played well for three rounds at the Open and although his Saturday horror story showed there is still plenty of work to do in terms of his game, he’ll take plenty of confidence from the way he struck the ball. As we all know, an in-form DJ could gobble this course up and he has to be respected as a result.
It was very much a case of so near, yet so far for Oosthuizen (14/1) at a Major again. Having been virtually faultless for three rounds, the wheels came off on Sunday and the elusive wait for another victory goes on. His third-place finish at Royal St George’s meant he has finished in the top three at the last three Majors and he’ll hope that if he keeps knocking on that door he’ll eventually break through it. It takes great heart and courage to keep coming back when coming so close, but he’s becoming the nearly man of golf and he needs a win to get that off his back. He’s clearly playing incredibly well and is entitled to go well, but that near miss last week will surely still be weighing on his mind here.
Finau was 23rd in 2019 and third in 2020, while he played well at the Open, so he’ll have his supporters at 14/1, but like Oosthuizen he’s winless in a long while now. Reed (18/1), meanwhile, looks hopelessly out of form and comes into this off the back of a missed cut, so will surely just be hoping to put four good rounds together.
Watson Bubbaling under the surface
This isn’t an easy event to weigh up, but it might be worth keeping close tabs on Bubba Watson at 40/1. The big-hitting American wasn’t able to travel over for the Open, so is perhaps more fresh than a number of rivals here, and based on his recent performances, his game appears to be trending in the right direction.
He was in contention after two rounds at the U.S. Open, but fell away on the weekend, while he was bang there ahead of the final round at the Travelers before he collapsed in spectacular fashion to fall to a tie for 19th. Many players would have taken some time to get over that, but he put in another great showing at the Rocket Mortgage Classic where he finished tied for sixth. That could have easily been better he hadn’t shot a 73 on Friday – a score which really hindered him given the number of birdies that were being made that day.
Watson did miss the cut here in 2020, but he didn’t actually strike the ball too badly and it was his short-game which really cost him. That’s the area which continues to hinder him, but this easier test might just suit and he could go nicely as he hunts a 13th PGA Tour title.