We are back stateside for this week’s PGA Tour event, the 3M Open, which is taking place in Minnesota at TPC Twin Cities. This is the third time this event will be played, with the winners of the first two being Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson.  Both events were low-scoring, however, they differ slightly in how the contenders went about gaining their strokes. One thing has been clear through two years – there is a benefit to hitting the ball straighter to avoid the many water hazards defending the course. 

Matchup | Patrick Reed +125 vs. Dustin Johnson (tie is loss)

To start off, I still make Johnson the favorite in this matchup, however, I do not think Reed is getting enough respect. The form may not be exactly where you want it for Reed but for the most part, his game appears to be in a solid place , as his reliable short game has been the issue. TPC Twin Cities should play more to Reed’s favor than Johnson’s. Although not significantly altering Johnson, it does take away some of the advantage he has from his distance. Reed and Johnson have both seen the course, although Johnson, we believe, was dealing with a potential injury when he withdrew last year after an opening 80. I don’t think that factors in, but Reed is one of the best in the world and the +125 is generous at a course that brings him even closer to a level starting position with Johnson. 

Matchup | Bubba Watson -110 vs. Matthew Wolff (tie is loss)

I’m going to continue picking on Wolff until I see any consistency back in his game. Since last October, it appears to be a combination of both physical and mental ailments for the young pro and although it’s expected to turn around, I need to see the signs of life before I respect the upside. His largest weapon, the driver, has been absent for some time, and his weak short game is not picking up the slack. Watson comes into this event with relatively good form, and much more consistent than his opponent. He has played the course once, driving the ball well and navigating the water, however, his short game was horrendous. The one thing going for Wolff is he should have happy thoughts at this course; the home of his maiden professional victory, which he followed up with a 12th place last year.  I’m not sure it’s enough to overcome the demons quite yet, so I’ll side with Watson vs. an overvalued past champion.

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