After all the excitement from last week at The 149th Open Championship, normal service resumes on the PGA Tour this week with The 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota.
That’s it for another year as far as majors are concerned, well at least until April at Augusta for The Masters.
It’s always up for debate whether it’s The Masters or The Open Championship, which one is the most sacred of sacred in golfing achievements, for me it’s The Open that comes out tops but only by fine margins. If it’s not the excitement of links course golf then it’s the history behind the oldest golf tournament in the world.
I could go on writing all day about the history but best to move on with this week's preview. It would be interesting what you all think about this in the comments section below?
Before I continue I just want to say congratulations to Collin Morikawa who re-wrote the history books when becoming the first player to win two majors at his first attempt, a truly remarkable achievement.
You all know I was all over Brooks Koepka last week and I did say you’ll get a return if you back him each way. Although he never won the claret jug, he did finish T6th. Thanks Brooks for not making me look silly, not only that, he won my matchbet Nap of the tournament when comfortably beating Bryson De Chambeau.
Well done to everyone who had any winning selections last week at The Open. Next year it’s the 150th edition at the home of golf, St Andrew’s, can’t wait….
Let’s get back to this week, and the 3M Open on the PGA Tour.
The 156 field will all be competing on this par 71 course for the $6.6M prize pot with the winner collecting the trophy and $1.152M.
Michael Thomson returns to defend the title he won last year to claim his maiden PGA victory. The only other previous winner taking part this week is Matthew Wolff.
The weather is forecast to be hot and sunny with temperatures expected to reach the mid 30s.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 6.30pm GMT.
So let’s get on with this weeks selections, for my first and main pick this week I’m liking the look of a player most of you won’t be familiar with, Doug Ghim 50/1 EW Bet365.
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of this kid as you almost certainly will in the not too distant future.
The 25 yrs old kid from Illinois, America made his debut at this event last year and went on to shoot a lower score on each day 70-68-67-66, pretty impressive for a debutant.
His best finishes so far include T5th American Express,8th Omega European Masters and 12th Byron Nelson . He finished runner up in the 2017 US Amateur and with greens in regulation the key attribute this week then Ghim has the figures that stand out.
I was actually surprised when checking out his stats, I knew they were up there but didn’t realise just how good they are; 16th on the PGA Tour for long approach play and 25th tee to green.
At his last event, the John Deere Classic, he was 2nd approach play and 6th tee to green. With this track being second to only one on the Tour for approach shots hit by the field then this course looks like it was made for Ghim.
Can you believe this? He actually has better stats than his best friend Collin Morikawa for long approach play over 150 yards, quite incredible.
Listen, I know it’s risky when singling out a player most aren’t familiar with but he has to start somewhere and it could well be this week with a victory at the 3M Open and the 50/1 on offer looks huge so why should we all miss out?
For my next selection I’m going to advise Hank Lebioda, again 50/1 Bet365 and again a player that most aren’t familiar with.
Another youngster at only 27 yrs old from Orlando, Florida, currently ranked 164th in the world but it’s only a matter of months ago he was almost 400th, that’s amazing progress in such a short time.
The main reason for that rise is his last three tournaments, all on the PGA Tour;
- T8th at the John Deere Classic
- Last time out T4th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic
- T5th at the Travelers Championship
This year he was also T17th at the AT&T Byron Nelson and T13th at the Valspar Championship. I’m always on the look out for golfers making progress and Hank Lebioda has certainly caught my eye and has been flagging up on my radar.
At his previous three events mentioned above Lebioda was actually leading the tournaments on the back nine so surely this has to spell a victory anytime soon and I wouldn’t rule it out being this week at the 3M Open.
For my next suggestion I’m going to single out a player we are all too familiar with ,the unlucky msn of the moment last week , Louis Oosthuizen 14/1 EW Betfair.
The humble 38yrs old South African was in the lead at The Open from almost start to finish only to fall away from his playing partner and eventual winner Collin Morikawa.
Oosthuizen finished T3rd in the end and it wasn’t to be but he still played some absolutely superb golf to keep us all entertained from start to finish.
That 3rd place took Oosthuizen inside the world's Top 10 ranked golfers on the planet, currently now number nine.
It could prove risky selecting the South African this week as it’s still to be determined how he feels after not winning last week and all the travelling involved but this guy is one of the best professionals in the world and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back with a victory at the 3M Open.
With too many victories and places to mention, I’ll single out just this year's majors where Oosthuizen has been more than impressive, T3rd The Open Championship, 2nd US Open , T2nd USPGA Championship and 26th The Masters.
This humble golfer, who resides on a farm when not playing golf, has quality and class written all over him. Here’s an interesting fact and if anyone would like to correct me if I’m wrong on this, Oosthuizen hasn’t actually ever won on the PGA Tour but if he won this week then I’m sure no one would begrudge him.
Emiliano Grillo to get the better of Matthew Wolff
For my final selection it’s the customary matchbet and I’m going for Emiliano Grillo to get the better of Matthew Wolff 10/11 Nap Betfair.