The field at the 3M Championship wouldn’t be considered the deepest of the season. There are 26 of the top 100 on the world ranking and seven of the top 50.
Coming the week after a major, that’s not surprising. Coming the week after the Open Championship with a cross-ocean plane ride, well, RBC Canadian Open fans remember that well when that tournament held this date.
Still, there are some interesting picks to consider and jet lag becomes a part of the selection process. Will the time change and a week of near-quarantine in Sandwich, England play a part when they tee off at the TPC Twin Cities this week?
Johnson is back. Or is he? The player who was No. 1, then No. 2, then up to No. 1 last week, is back down to No. 2. This despite some good form – finally – at the Open. DJ’s tie for eighth at the Open was just his second top-10 finish since the Genesis Invitational in February. Three rounds under par and decent numbers in Fairways in Regulation (60.71 per cent) and Greens in Regulation (69.44 per cent) would seem to indicate his game is returning to form. How much motivation does he have this week? He played here last year and withdrew. That aside, he seems like a good option in a weaker field.
If you didn’t read the intro to this article, go back and read it now. See the part about jet lag? That could play into Oosthuizen’s game this week as well as a sense of I-could-have-won-another-major. But Oosthuizen is still playing some beautiful golf and with that swing; he might be able to do it in his sleep. He hasn’t missed a cut this year and has three seconds, two thirds and seven top-10s and is first in SG: Putting.
The last three tournaments for Lebioda have produced finishes of a tie for fifth, a tie for fourth and a tie for eighth. Prior to that? Well, he missed the cut in eight of 17 starts. So things have definitely turned around. Part of that is putting, where he’s 24th in Strokes Gained. He’s also up to 13th in Proximity to the Hole. And he had a decent finish here last year with a tie for 26th.
In his last start, Watson tied for sixth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, finishing with a silky Sunday 64. Putting has been a bit of a struggle for the lefty this year but it’s showing some signs of improving and he’s been on the plus side of SG: Putting over his past 12 starts.
Lee Trevino once said the best way to play better is have a $10 bet when you only have $5 in your pocket. Hadwin is almost at that stage where he desperately needs a good finish after missing the cut in four of his past five starts. He’s ranked 120th on the FedEx Cup standings, and with only a few weeks left before the playoffs needs a good finish to stay above the cutoff of 125th spot. A few positive to note: he was fourth at this event in 2019 and in his last 12 events, he has been on the positive side in SG: Putting and SG: Approach the Green.
Talk about a bizarre season. Frittelli got into the Open Championship after countryman Louis de Jager tested positive for COVID-19 and then ended up tied for fifth. This comes after he missed the cut in seven of his previous eight starts. He’s only made the cut in 10 of 25 starts but three of those have been top 10s. Was tied for 18th at last year’s edition of the 3M.