The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
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The 3M Open is a full-field event that tops out around 156 players. It falls on the week after The Open Championship, so the field is always going to be missing a lot of top players, but it’s become a very important stop for players on the FedEx Cup bubble, as we are now left with just three official PGA TOUR events before the playoffs begin (and full cards for 2022-2023 get awarded). We haven’t seen any major withdraws from the field (Mark Hubbard did WD Monday afternoon), but it’s worth keeping an eye on the news feed this week, as top players tend to pull out the week after a major at a higher rate than normal.
Last year’s winner, Cameron Champ, is in the field, as are Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau and Sungjae Im — who consist of the three highest ranking players in the field this week (and all played in The Open). The cut goes back to its regularly scheduled programming here with the top 65 and ties getting to play the weekend.
TPC Twin Cities—Minneapolis, Minnesota
Par 71, 7,168; Greens: Bentgrass
TPC Twin Cities was designed in 2000 by Arnold Palmer and redesigned by Tom Lehmen in 2018. On top of hosting the 3M Open in 2019 and 2020, this venue also hosted a PGA TOUR Champions event between 2001-2018.
The venue was redesigned in order to accommodate its new spot on the PGA TOUR rotation in 2018, and now TPC Twin Cities plays as a Par 71 but at well under 7,200 yards. The venue was one of the easier stops on the Champions Tour, yielding either the most or second-most birdies during the seven seasons it hosted an event (according to pgatour.com). In 2020, it yielded a 19-under par winning score and played as just the 23rd-toughest venue (out of 41) on the PGA TOUR. Last season, some wind and cooler weather saw it yield a few less birdies, with the winner getting to just 15-under for the week.
TPC Twin Cities is always going to be an easy spot for PGA TOUR pros since it’s in a flat parkland setting with very little elevation. As such, good lies are the norm here with the course’s main defense being the abundance of water set around the track. Water comes into play on 15 of the 18 holes here, but they’re not what you’d call overly aggressive water areas since the landing spots off the tee are still very generous on most holes. Both driving distance and driving accuracy numbers here are much higher than the PGA TOUR average, making it one of the easiest off the tee venues on the PGA TOUR.
While the big fairways do give bombers a chance to load up often with their best club, inaccurate shorter hitters also have an easier time here, and the venue allowed many shorter hitters to compete here last season. The 2020 winner, Michael Thompson — who regularly ranks outside the top 150 in driving distance — lost 0.5 strokes off the tee at TPC Twin Cities in the week of his win.
TPC Twin Cities also holds three longer par 5s, which will require good drives in order to reach the greens in two shots, along with seven par 4s of 440 yards of length or more. The greens and fairways are pure bentgrass, and fast greens or wind may be the course’s best and only defense this week. Another Arnold Palmer-designed venue, TPC Boston, looks like a solid comparison since it’s also one of the easier venues on the PGA TOUR for scoring and features some easier driving holes. TPC Scottsdale also looks like another nice comparable, and it’s worth noting players like Alex Noren, Tony Finau and Louis Oosthuizen have all landed top-six finishes at both venues over the last five years.
If the weather holds, expect this one to be a fun, birdie-fest type of tournament where lots of late risk/reward type shots will make things exciting on Sunday.
2022 weather: After spending last week sweating out the ever-changing forecasts in Scotland, this week will be a welcome reprieve for daily fantasy golf grinders. The summer weather in Minnesota will bring some decent heat in with highs in 80s (Fahrenheit) but little in terms of wind. Thursday afternoon has some smaller gusts forming in the afternoon, but it’s not expected to get past 15 mph and likely not worth worrying about. Some thunderstorms could roll by on the weekend but nothing that is expected to stop play for long. Look for good conditions to produce lower scores in 2022.
Last 3 winners
2021—Cameron Champ -15 (over Louis Oosthuizen -13)
**other notables include Adam Hadwin T6 and Maverick McNealy T16
2020—Michael Thompson 19-under (over Adam Long -17)
**other notables include Tony Finau and Emiliano Grillo T3
2019—Matthew Wolff 21-under-par (over Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa -20)
**other notables include Adam Hadwin and Wyndham Clark T5
Winners Stats and Course Overview
Cameron Champ (2021)
2021 lead-in form (MC-T64-T46-T8-T57)
SG: OTT — +0.8
SG: APP — +3.7
SG: TTG — +4.1
SG: ATG — -0.4
SG: PUTT — +8.5
- This week is very much about good iron play and putting since the greens and fairways tend to be easy to hit. In 2020, the top 11 finishers all gained strokes on approach for the week while six of the top eight finishers gained +2.5 strokes or more with their irons.
- With high GIR and fairway stats, around-the-green play hasn’t been very important to past winners. Champ actually lost strokes around the green last year, and none of the players who finished in the top 10 of the event finished inside the top 10 in ATG stats last year
- Neither Champ nor Michael Thompson (the last two winners) actually had great weeks off the tee. While you don’t want your players to be a disaster with the driver, poor or average OTT play at Twin Lakes can be made up via great irons and putting.
- Pure driving distance has proven to be helpful for two of the first three winners at TPC Twin Lakes (with Wolff and Champ being two of the longest hitters in the field), and it is a driver-heavy course, with the average driving distance being much higher than the average PGA TOUR stop.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Adam Svensson +4500 and $7,600
Cameron Tringale +1800 and $8,800
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change
1. J.T. Poston ($8,500; MC - win): Poston missed the cut at The Open Championship, but his form was scorching prior to the trip overseas. The now two-time PGA TOUR winner has been on fire with his irons and putter of late and sets up extremely well for this week’s test, assuming he can kick the jet lag early in the week.
2. Adam Svensson ($7,600; T6 - T24): Svensson was all over the leaderboard at the Barbasol before a poor final round dropped him into a T6 finish. He’s now posted four straight top-25 finishes and gained an incredible 7.4 strokes on approach in his last start.
3. Sahith Theegala ($9,800; T34 - T16 - T2): Theegala kept up his great summer of play with a T34 last week in his first ever Open Championship. The 24-year-old has quietly made 12 cuts in a row on the PGA TOUR and sports two top-five finishes in his last six starts.
4. Nick Hardy ($8,000; T13 - T30 - T8): Hardy resurfaced after a couple of weeks off to score a T13 at the Barracuda. He has had a great summer, posting a top 20 at the U.S. Open, and has finished top 20 in three of his last four starts.
5. Wyndham Clark ($7,500; T76 - T16): Clark struggled over the weekend at the Open but has generally been showing positive trends over the last month. He grabbed a T16 at the Scottish Open and a T7 at the Canadian Open last month, despite landing a double bogey on his final hole.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Take the value with Davis and Svensson
If we’re looking at pure production over the past five events or so, both Cameron Davis ($8,900) and Adam Svensson ($7,600) stand out as great DFS plays for this week. Davis has always been a high birdie producer who also gets lots of eagle opportunities on easier courses, and he ranks seventh in DraftKings points gained over the last 24 rounds. Svensson has just been playing well, period, and ranks third in DKFP gained over the last 24 rounds. Both men will be popular this week, but for cash game formats, they make for great starting points. Other potential cash game targets include Maverick McNealy ($9,300), J.T. Poston ($8,500), and Matthias Schwab ($7,200).
Tournaments: Step up with Sungjae Im
You will likely see a lot of balanced lineups in play this week in the big-field GPPs, so starting with and paying up for any of the top three players (who all played poorly last week) will likely be a contrarian move. Of the three, Im ($10,000) is the one I’m most interested in chasing at potentially low ownership. Im’s misadventures overseas should be taken with a grain of salt, as he’s tended to play his best on more traditional PGA TOUR setups and was trending well prior to the U.S. Open, gaining +6.3 strokes ball-striking alone at the Memorial. Other than Im, this is definitely a week where we can look down the board a bit. Chesson Hadley ($7,300 - see below) is a player I like for big fields, as is Brandon Hagy ($6,800), who has solid birdie-or-better stats and the length to make some eagles on the par 5s.
MY PICK: Davis Riley ($9,000)
There are a lot of intriguing young players in the field this week, many of whom will be aiming for their first PGA TOUR win. Of them all, though, I’m most smitten by Davis Riley, who will be coming into the event off a three-week rest period and won’t have experienced the same travel fatigue that’s sure to hamper some of the other players. Riley has flashed incredible upside at times in 2022, and despite blowing up in his last start at the Travelers (where he finished T64 and lost -8.0 strokes putting), he still ranks third in SG: Approach stats and 22nd in SG: Putting stats over the last 24 rounds.
TPC Twin Lakes has been a solid spot for younger players to flex their proverbial talent, with the likes of Cameron Champ and Matthew Wolff grabbing early career wins. It’s also worth noting rest has tended to be positive for Riley this season, as he produced both a T5 (Mexico Open) and a second-place playoff loss (Valspar) earlier in 2022 after not playing the week prior. Getting on Riley this week for both DFS and betting (+2200 on the DraftKings Sportsbook) seems prudent, as he’s shown to be a rising talent and won’t have any top-10 talent to compete this Sunday if he’s in the mix.
MY SLEEPER: Chesson Hadley ($7,300)
As mentioned above, this is a big week for players on the FedEx Cup bubble. Hadley currently sits 143rd in the standings and will have to make a big move over his last three events to retain his PGA TOUR card. He’s certainly picked up his play of late, though, and has been a streaky player through his career, often posting multiple top-10 finishes in a handful of starts in the past. Over his last five starts, Hadley has landed two top-10 finishes and struck the ball extremely well with his irons in four of those five starts.
He bounced back nicely last week with a T31 after a tough outing at the Barbasol and gained 5.3 strokes on approach at this event last season. Confidence seems to be stemming from most parts of his game right now, and he’s also a player who has found success at a solid corollary venue in TPC Scottsdale (T5 in 2018 + T20 in 2019). Having made 18 or more birdies in three of his last four starts, Hadley provides the kind of upside we want for our GPP lineups in the $7K range, and on the betting side of things, he is also a nice top-10 target on DraftKings Sportsbook at +900.
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