With golf's final major championship in the rearview, the PGA Tour enters the season's homestretch ahead of the FedEx Cup Playoffs — starting with this week's 3M Open odds at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota.
Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama notwithstanding, this week's field is among the lighter of the season, leaving an opportunity for the Tour's lesser-known golfers to shine.
We highlight a couple of those lesser-knows in our 3M Open outright predictions, featuring a favorite, a sleeper, and a longshot worth backing.
3M Open outright picks
Picks were made on 7/18/2022 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
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3M Open outright picks
Among the favorites: Tony Finau (+1,400)
Picking chalk is seldom a successful strategy on the PGA Tour, but Tony Finau feels like the right bet among those in the odds board's top tier.
Between him, Hideki Matsuyama, and Sungjae Im, it's Tony who comes back to American soil carrying the best form after finishing T28 at St. Andrews. Hideki went MC-T81 at the Scottish Open and Open Championship, while Sungjae didn't fare much better (MC-T68).
And while links golf may not be for everyone, I like that Finau enters the week with some confidence. Despite missing the cut at the U.S. Open a few weeks back, he has two runner-up finishes in addition to a T4 and a T13 in his seven starts leading into The Open. He's playing well and looking to build momentum ahead of the playoffs.
Even after mostly poor results for much of 2022, Finau still ranks 13th in strokes gained tee-to-green for the season thanks to off-the-tee and approach marks of 21st and 17th, respectively. However, it's been the putter that's held him back (148th) and that's beginning to shift, having gained strokes in seven of his last nine starts (excluding U.S. Open missed cut).
He's also played here at TPC Twin Cities each of the last three years, finishing T28 or better in all three with a personal-best T3 back in 2020. Neither Im nor Matsuyama have made a start here since 2019.
Similar to Jon Rahm at the Mexico Open, I expect the best golfer in the field to rise to the top when all is said and done. This week, that golfer is Tony Finau.
Sleeper to watch: Mark Hubbard (+3,300)
While Mark Hubbard remains far from a household name on the PGA Tour, he's stringing together strong results and thus deserves serious attention in another razor-thin field.
The 33-year-old American hasn't missed a Tour cut since the Wells Fargo back in early May and has played his best golf over the last three weeks, posting finishes of T13, solo-third, and solo-fourth at the John Deere, Barbasol, and Barracuda.
Now, we know how slim the fields at those events are, but this week's lineup will only be a smidge better with just a couple of notables in the mix. He's striping his irons (gaining +0.6 or more strokes per round on approach in five of the last six events that recorded it) and is riding a red-hot putter (+0.65 or more in the last four events that recorded it).
His weakest link is his play off the tee (148th in strokes gained off the tee, -0.157 per round), but it may only take an average driving week for him to get back into contention for the third week in a row.
Fortunately for us, he gained +0.40 strokes per round off the tee when he played here a year ago. His iron play was also really strong (+1.24 strokes gained on approach per round) but his putter was just average in what still ended up being a solid T16 finish.
There are only so many sensible opportunities for guys of Hubbard's stature to realistically secure a win on Tour. This week presents a great one.
Longshot worth a look: Greyson Sigg (+10,000)
Greyson Sigg is a name even further from golf's upper echelon than Hubbard, but one that's attracted a little bit of buzz as the season's gone on.
After a run of five straight missed cuts, he got back on track with finishes of T16, T27, and T26 at the trio of lighter-field events mentioned earlier for Hubbard.
Asking for a win here is a lot, but his refound form makes him worth a look in another light field as a 100/1 longshot.