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The Approach: PGA DFS Picks This Week Based off Awesemo’s Rankings for the 3M Open

Geoff Ulrich

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Geoff Ulrich's expert PGA picks for the 3M Open this week, and daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Tiny Finau & Gary Woodland

One week after the last major championship of the season, The PGA Tour heads back to Minneapolis for the third running of the 3M Open. This event is hosted by TPC Twin Cities, an Arnold Palmer venue that was renovated recently so it could handle hosting duties for this event. Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson have been the winners of this even, and they profile as complete opposite in terms of style. Both men did share one thing in common though for the years of their respective wins: Elite iron and approach play. Wolff blunted the course, gaining over 12 strokes ball striking for the week, while Thompson gained over seven strokes on approach and putting.

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The venue has some of the easiest to hit fairways on tour and is only made difficult by the copious amounts of water hazards in play, which come into play on 15 of the 18 holes. As a par 71 that plays around 7,400 yards, the venue does have a nice variety of holes but is made simpler by easy around the green structures and a flat parkland setting where even decent drives will ensure a good lie. With good weather in the forecast, look to target good iron players and those who can get hot enough with the flat stick to challenge 20 under par again. Let’s dive into some DFS golf strategy and find some of the best daily fantasy golf picks on DraftKings and FanDuel this week.


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TPC Twin Cities Stats and Info

  • Par 71, 7,431 yards; has seen the winner here reach 19 and 21 under par the last two seasons; had some poorer weather in the forecast last year that made it play slightly tougher than 2019.
  • Driver-heavy course that also has easy to hit fairways. Hitting fairways is easy for the entire field, though, so players must gain on approaches to gain on the field.
  • In 2020 the top 11 finishers all gained strokes on approach for the week, while eight of the top 10 finishers gained three strokes or more with their irons.

Putting Splits

TPC Twin Cities features bentgrass greens and also set on one of the flatter venues on tour. These greens allowed several of the leaders to post monster putting weeks last year, and they definitely share some similarities with recent venues like Detroit GC and Deere Run. Use caution with these in your fantasy golf picks; they are not the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Negative Bentgrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Louis Oosthuizen: +10 strokes on bentgrass, +40 strokes on all other surfaces
2. J.T. Poston: +19 on bentgrass, +38 on all other surfaces
3. Bubba Watson: -17 on bentgrass, +2 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Positive Bentgrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Beau Hossler: +36 on bentgrass, +3 on all other surfaces
2. Brandt Snedeker: +33 on bentgrass, +6 on all other surfaces
3. Charles Howell III: +25 on bentgrass, -6 on all other surfaces


Check out Jason Rouslin’s expert daily fantasy golf picks for the 3M Open this week, where he gives you his Top 5 PGA DFS Value Plays like Dough Ghim.


Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel

*Grades are ordered DraftKings, FanDuel. Initial grade indicates a player’s strength of output for the week with the value grade indicating their strength as a play in relation to their salary.

Tony Finau: Grades: A+, A+ | Values: B, B

Finau will be playing in the 3M Open for the third year in a row. He has finished 23rd and third here the last two seasons and is coming into this event off a nice 15th-place finish at the British Open last week. Finau has absolutely lit up TPC Twin Cities from a ball-striking perspective as he gained 5.3 and 9.7 strokes on his approaches here in the last two seasons. His 15th from last week also broke a streak of two missed cuts, and he still ranks very solidly from a long-term perspective. Finau is second in strokes gained tee to green over the last 50 rounds and also is third in DraftKings points over that same time span. In that regard he nearly matches Dustin Johnson this week, who is also $600 more expensive than Finau.

Finau ranks second in terms of actual points projection on Awesemo, but given the savings off the top player — and his course history at TPC Twin Cities — going with Finau as the anchor play makes some sense. He still has something to prove in terms of grabbing another trophy and has elevated his play here the last two seasons.

The Stats:

  • Ranks third in DraftKings points over the last 50 rounds and second in strokes gained tee to green over that same time span.
  • Finished third at this event in 2020 despite gaining less than one stroke putting for the week.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 17.8%


Latest PGA DFS Content


Gary Woodland: Grades: B,B | Values: A, A

Woodland is an interesting target in DFS this week. He is clearly a quality player who still ranks well in the long-term stats but has struggled of late. He ranks 26th in strokes gained on approach over the last 50 rounds and is still ranked highly as a DraftKings producer given his short-term struggles. The issue is that he comes in having missed three of his last four cuts on tour and also has not shot a round under 70 in four straight events either. The upside here is that his price has remained stagnant for daily fantasy golf purposes on DraftKings, and he projects with extremely low ownership as a result. Woodland has struggled off the tee in spots but likely will not have much trouble off the tee at TPC Twin Cities and should be looking at this weaker-field event to gain some confidence.

From a model perspective, he still projects very strongly on Awesemo despite the poor stretch of play. He has the 10th-best points projection on the entire slate and also has the best DraftKings value score of any player ranked $8,000 or more on that site. Given the weak field here and how Awesemo ranks him, Woodland looks like a strong buy this week.

The Stats:

  • Ranks 26th in strokes gained on approach over the last 50 rounds of play; has gained strokes on his approaches in six straight starts (prior to the British Open).
  • Has very solid bentgrass putting splits and has gained 15 strokes putting on bentgrass over the last 50 rounds of play.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 8.2%

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Low-Owned PGA DFS GPP Flier

Sergio Garcia

Garcia comes into this week’s event playing some very solid golf. He has finished inside the top 20 in four straight starts and continues to maintain some very heady ball striking. Ranked first in this field in strokes gained off the tee metrics over the last 50 rounds, he also gained 4.5 strokes on approach at the U.S. Open and shot four rounds of 69 or better at the British Open last week. The question with Garcia is always whether or not he can sink enough putts to contend in an event like the 3M, but it is worth noting that another supreme ball striker in Wolff won here in 2019 and gained less than a stroke on the greens.

The bottom line here is that Garcia projects for right around 10% ownership in a field where several of the other top plays like Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Patrick Reed are all projected for well over 15% ownership. Garcia is playing at least as well as Reed and Johnson, so his projection here — with a DraftKings salary under $10,000 — is one to take advantage of this week.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 10.5%


Awesemo's Top Golfer Tool is an Ace

Since golf performances are largely uncorrelated between one golfer and the next, aside from weather impacts, a good way to view a PGA DFS lineup is as a parlay, where you have to hit all 6 picks to hit. The Awesemo Top Golfer Tool gives you the probabilities that each golfer will finish top 6, as well as their 25%, 50%,and 75% results as a benchmark for how you can expect each golfer to perform at the tournament.

DraftKings Top Three Under 5%

I am targeting three players here that I ultimately think will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. We are searching for boom/bust players here with an almost 100% focus on upside.

Tom Lewis ($7,000)

Lewis has quietly been scratching out some made cuts and looks like a player who could potentially challenge at this easier setup against this weaker field. He has gained over a stroke on his approaches in two straight starts and was in the thick of contention at Detroit before blowing up late Sunday. He should be under 5% owned here.

Chris Kirk ($7,900)

Kirk may get over 5% owned at this event, but he still projects well under 10% ownership. A missed cut at the Open last week should not be of concern given he has never really had success at that event. He was 12th in Detroit in his last PGA start, at a course that profiles very similarly to this week’s. He makes for a great GPP target and has flashed great upside this year in DFS.

Jason Dufner ($6,600)

Dufner had a decent week at the Barbasol alternate-field event where he finished 26th. He was in contention late into the weekend but had a disastrous finish to his event, shooting 73 on the last day. He has gained over a stroke off the tee and on approach in his last three starts and has made the cut at TPC Twin Cities both appearances here. At well under $7,000, he looks like a great punt target.


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