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3M Open DFS picks 2022: The Tony Finau debate

July 19, 2022
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The week after the last major of the year can be a bit of a letdown. That doesn’t need to be the case for DFS players, though, there might be an opportunity to deploy a profitable strategy at the 3M Open. This is the third year of the event in Blaine, Minn., on the PGA Tour, with longshots hoisting the trophy on each occasion.

The countless water hazards can create a volatile outcome with nearly every golfer in the field capable of actually winning. When the players reach the green, they’ll be greeted with flat and straight-forward surfaces.

Considering the more random nature of this course, plus the unknown of how performers from The Open will do flying from Scotland to Minnesota, you may want to consider taking a “contrarian” approach this week.

Golfers I'm Definitely Playing

Sahith Theegala ($9,800 DraftKings | $11,200 FanDuel)

Theegala is always going to be a slightly risky option, playing much more on “feel” than “technical skill-set.” However, that feel is grooving right now! He’s made eight straight cuts, including last week’s Open Championship and has two top 5s in that stretch. He’s gained strokes off-the-tee in five straight for the first time in his career, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. He should set up well for TPC Twin Cities.

Cam Davis ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,900 FanDuel)

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Sean M. Haffey

While there is water lurking around TPC Twin Cities, it’s generally forgiving off the tee. That’s great news for Davis, who has been known to bomb it without regard for accuracy. His biggest deficiency is around the green, which let’s be honest, if you’re using that heavily here you’re already in big trouble. He’s coming off a T-8 at the John Deere and sixth at the Barracuda.

Brendan Steele ($8,300 DraftKings | $10,000 FanDuel)

TPC Twin Cities is likely one of the easiest putting courses on the PGA Tour and offers some benefit to being solid off the tee. I couldn’t imagine a better combination of skills required to cater to Steele’s game. He hasn’t played much but has earned three straight top-25 finishes, including a T-9 at the PGA Championship and T-10 at the Memorial.

Adam Hadwin ($9,600 DraftKings | $11,400 FanDuel)

Hadwin has made two trips to the Twin Cities, earning fourth- and sixth-place finishes. He’s cooled since his torrid start to 2022, but he offers plenty of upside, evidenced by his T-7 finish at the U.S. Open. With a softer field than usual, Hadwin should be ready for another top finish at the 3M Open.

Austin Cook ($6,700 DraftKings | $7,600 FanDuel)

Cook has found the weekend in four straight events, which should be plenty considering his price tag. During that stretch, he’s popped for a T-13 at the RBC Canadian Open, T-16 at the John Deere Classic and T-27 at the Barbasol Championship. Cook’s strength is accuracy and precision, hopefully avoiding any big numbers.

Golfers I Might Play

Tony Finau ($10,500 DraftKings | $12,000 FanDuel)

Finau is gearing up to be one of the more popular golfers on the slate. He’s been rolling, earning four top-15 finishes in his past eight starts and has played this event each year of its existence—notching finishes of T-28, T-3 and T-23. I worry about his propensity to make a big number and play himself out of the event, and at this price he likely needs to finish inside the top 5 to return value. His ceiling is higher than anyone’s, but I’m just worried about being too heavy on him given his floor.

Michael Thompson ($7,300 DraftKings | $8,700 FanDuel)

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Gregory Shamus

Thompson won this event in 2020, and he’s rounding into form just at the right time. He finished T-9 at last week’s Barracuda Championship, an event that requires you to make a ton of birdies. This week should be no different, and it’s certainly a course that fits his game.

Michael Gligic ($7,000 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel)

Gligic had to WD from the Canadian Open, so if you excuse that, he’s on a stretch of seven straight cuts made. All of his most recent four finishes have been inside the top 40, highlighted by a T-10 at the John Deere Classic. Gligic is a solid grinder with plenty of top-30 upside.

Dylan Frittelli ($7,600 DraftKings | $9,500 FanDuel)

Frittelli has found the weekend in 13 of his past 14 starts, one of the best stretches of anyone in this field. His upside is seemingly a bit limited, and he’s been reliant on the putter. If he can continue to hit his second shots well, gaining in five of his past six events, he has the potential to catch fire in the Twin Cities.

Brice Garnett ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,300 FanDuel)

Do you like risk? Do you like reward? Boy, do I have someone for you! Garnett has missed five of his past eight cuts but has a T-33, T-15 and T-16 in the other three events. His record at the 3M Open reveals three straight top-26 finishes thanks to his ability to keep his ball in play. Garnett might not always play well, but when he does, he can boost a fantasy team.

Golfers I'm Fading

Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300 DraftKings | $11,900 FanDuel)

The last five starts for Matsuyama have been bizarre: fourth at the U.S. Open surrounded by two finishes in the 60s at the PGA Championship and Open Championship, a missed cut at the Scottish Open and a strange DQ at the Memorial. He’s gained less than one stroke off-the-tee in each of his past five starts, and his approach play has been suspect. I’ll need to see more from Matsuyama before investing.

Chris Gotterup ($7,900 DraftKings | $9,600 FanDuel)

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Vaughn Ridley

Gotterup missed the cut at the Barbasol as one of the more popular golfers on the slate, but I feel like most fantasy players have forgotten that by now. Gotterup is the definition of the “unknown entity” on tour, and he could be quite popular in this price range. I’m willing to pivot to other similarly priced options.

Sungjae Im ($10,000 DraftKings | $11,500 FanDuel)

Im lost a whopping 10.36 strokes putting last week at the Old Course, the worst putting performance of his career by nearly six full strokes. I’m actually willing to overlook that, but I can’t look past his approach play. He’s lost a total of 3.57 strokes on approach over his last three starts, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. We’ve seen Sungjae slump before, and it usually takes him a few weeks to break out of it.

Maverick McNealy ($9,300 DraftKings | $11,300 FanDuel)

It’s true that McNealy has three straight top-16 finishes, which means he will garner some significant ownership this week. I’m worried that McNealy faded on the weekend at the Barracuda, never really mustering any type of path to the top of the board. We don’t have the full stat breakdown from the Barracuda, but he gained over 10 strokes putting at the Scottish Open and John Deere Classic. He’s likely due for some putting regression.

Jason Day ($7,800 DraftKings | $10,500 FanDuel)

At this point in his career, Day is much too reliant on this short game to contend. He’s lost three-plus strokes on approach in each of his past four starts, something he’s never done before in his career. Day still has the chops to contend when scoring conditions get difficult, but that doesn’t apply to TPC Twin Cities.

Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.