When the surname of the golfer with the greatest impact on this generation, Tiger Woods, also is the name of the clubs used to hit the ball the furthest, it’s tough to impress the fans who have the pulse of oddities, coincidences and quirks in the sport. Yet, the 3M Open is one first name away from doing just that. 3M originally is known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, but the name of the shortest title sponsor of a PGA TOUR event soon could be associated with something a little different. This is the third edition of the 3M Open and the first two winners were Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson, respectively. As of Monday, there are only 14 golfers in the field of 156 at TPC Twin Cities with “M” as the initial of the first name by which they want to be known, including both former champions. (For example, Mito is a nickname for Guillermo Pereira.) So, if any is superstitious and open to the possibility, he’ll appreciate the funky trend upon arrival. For more on how TPC Twin Cities will test and other analysis, continue reading beneath the projected contenders. RELATED: How the field qualified | The First Look POWER RANKINGS: 3M OPEN Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider will include reviews of defending champion Michael Thompson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and other notables. Since the Travelers Championship in late June, and as is the experience every summer, the recent lineup of courses testing full fields on the PGA TOUR gives every member targeting a coveted spot in the FedExCup Playoffs a fair and consistent opportunity to get the job done. TPC Twin Cities and the 3M Open has slipped into this cadence like it’s always been there, lock step with the others. The par 71 tips at 7,431 yards. After debuting to a scoring average of 69.455 in 2019, numerous modifications were made to toughen the track. They seem to work because last year’s scoring was almost a half-shot higher at 69.948, but gusty winds in the second round were responsible. The opening round was only 0.14 strokes higher, and the third and final rounds scored lower than the inaugural. With no changes to the course, this week’s forecast supports a return to a redder number. No worse than light winds are expected throughout the tournament and they’ll do little to cool air that will warm well into the 90s. Rain might fall later on Friday and/or on Saturday, but an extended delay would be surprising. Bentgrass greens right around a TOUR-average of 6,500 square feet are ready to roll up to 12-and-a-feet on the Stimpmeter. Primary rough once again will be trimmed to three-and-a-half inches. Like all of the courses hosting opens of the last few weeks, the setup at TPC Twin Cities favors hitting greens and sinking putts. Michael Thompson’s primary weapon always has been his putter, so it was not at all shocking that he paced the 2020 field in Strokes Gained: Putting. He also ranked T3 in greens hit (15 per round) to lay the groundwork for his 72-hole aggregate of 19-under 265, but he also slotted second in scrambling (10 of 12). Inside 10 feet alone, he was 61-for-64. ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled. MONDAY: Power Rankings TUESDAY*: Sleepers; Fantasy Insider SUNDAY: Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Rookie Watch * – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.
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