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PGA

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

Geoff Ulrich

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PGA DFS Picks: FREE Awesemo fantasy golf picks with Grades + Values for The 3M Open on DraftKings + FanDuel | Paul Casey

The field this week loses a bunch of big names as we head into the homestretch before the last major of the season. The second-running of the 3M Open will again take place at the host course of TPC Twin Cities, an Arnold Palmer design (2000) that underwent extensive renovations two years ago. The venue was previously used as a Champions Tour venue and it often ended up being one of the easiest venues in play on that Tour at the time. Even though it was toughened up and made to play as a 7,400 par 71 for the pros, it still yielded quite low scores across the board last year and ended up playing as the 14th-easiest venue on Tour last season.

TPC Twin cities plays as a traditional parkland course, although it’s quite open and can be susceptible to wind (there was hardly any last year). The course has 27 water hazards, so if wind does play a factor, scoring could certainly dip here in year 2. The venue has three par 5’s that all range between 550 and 600 yards and played as the easiest three holes on the course last season. Matthew Wolff won this event last year, leading the field in shots gained tee to green and putting just above field average. Aggressive iron play definitely won out last year, as receptive greens meant players hitting their approaches well could rack up the birdies by the handful.


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3M Open Course Stats and Info

• Par 71, 7,431 yards; Bentgrass Greens. Ranked as the 14th-easiest course on Tour last year, scoring average was 2+ shots under par for the week
• Easy to hit fairways, field here averaged 65% driving accuracy (well above Tour average-60%)
• The field also averaged 302 yards per drive, course is a driver-heavy venue
• Five par 4’s over 450 yards and three par 5’s between 550 and 600 yards. Lots of long approaches with more than 200 yards


Putting Splits

The greens at TPC Twin Cities are pure bentgrass and should not have changed much from last season. Here’s a look at some of the best and worst bentgrass putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these; they aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Negative Bentgrass putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Matthew Wolff: -1 on bentgrass , +9 on all other surfaces
2. Max Homa: -7 on bentgrass , +7 on all other surfaces
3. Tommy Fleetwood: -7 on bentgrass , +8 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Positive Bentgrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Ben Martin: +23 on bentgrass , -7 on all other surfaces
2. Richy Werenski: +16 on bentgrass , +1 on all other surfaces
3. Paul Casey: +14 on bentgrass , -6 on all other surfaces


Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel

Paul Casey: Grades: A+, Values: B

Casey grades out as one of the best pure points/value combos in the field for Awesemo this week. The Englishman ejected himself from last week’s event in exciting (and frustrating) fashion for those who rostered him in DFS, taking a quint-bogey on a par 3. Outside of that one little (big) misstep though, he looked like regular old Paul Casey. Casey gained over two strokes off the tee in his first two rounds at Muirfield and was also solid with his irons. His world-class tee-to-green game should play extremely well at TPC Twin Cities, an event that showcased two of the best ball strikers in the game last season in Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff. While Casey doesn’t necessarily have their explosiveness, he can catch fire with his irons in much the same way those two did last season and will be dealing with much easier green complexes this week. Considering the high prices we’re getting on the other elite names in this field, Casey’s $10,100 salary on DraftKings doesn’t look that horrific at all. He should likely be given a small edge over Tommy Fleetwood ($10,500), considering the competitive rust his countryman carries with him this week, and Casey doesn’t carry the injury concerns that we have to worry about with the suddenly vulnerable Brooks Koepka.

The Stats:
• First in SG: APP and third in SG: TTG stats in the field over the last 50 rounds
• Prior to missing the cut at memorial had gained at least 4.3 strokes TTG in last two starts
• Gained +14 strokes putting on bentgrass over his last 50 rounds

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 22.8%| FanDuel: 27.2%


Charley Hoffman: Grades: B, Values: A, B

Hoffman grades out as a nice play in the Awesemo model this week, ranking out as an A-grade value on DraftKings, where he’s just $7,400. The veteran is coming off his best finish of the year at the Workday Open where he finished seventh and was positive in most strokes gained categories. The venue this week should also be a positive one for Hoffman, who has wins at other birdie-fest events on his ledgers, the most recent being the OHL Classic. Hoffman’s a streaky player, but when his driver and putting are firing, he can take advantage of softer tracks. He gained over two strokes off the tee at the Workday, and had his best week putting (statistically) in about three years. He missed the cut at TPC Twin Cities last season but had almost no form coming in. He’s coming into this year’s version with some growing confidence, though, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Hoffman built on his 18-birdie performance from the Workday to return good value here.

The Stats:
• Gained over four strokes ball striking in his last start at Muirfield
• 23rd this year in birdie-or-better percentage, despite a poor cut rate
• Aggressive player off the tee who should be helped out by larger fairways at venue

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 11.4%| FanDuel: 7.9%


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Low-Owned GPP Flier

Tom Lewis Grades: C, Values: B

Lewis is a talented English golfer who has made a few waves over in America over the past year. He gained access to the PGA by winning a Korn Ferry Tour playoff event last season, quite out of the blue, getting to 23 under par for the week. While he’s struggled for the most part in 2020, his 12th-place finish in his last start at the Rocket Mortgage was eye-opening, and the Englishman ranked third in birdies made for the week there. Lewis will have to clean up his ball striking a little this week, but the bigger fairways in Minnesota should also be to his liking, as he’s one of the bigger hitters on Tour and ranked 14th in SG: OTT in Detroit. If he maintains confidence with the flat stick, he’s someone who has already shown he has the talent to challenge in these types of fields. Plus, he should carry quite low ownership in big GPPs, where every golfer with any name recognition will likely carry significant ownership.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 5.6%| FanDuel: 3.5%


Bonus: DraftKings Top Five Under Five

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

Kristoffer Ventura ($7,300)

Has finally started to flash some real form of late, landing a 21st-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage, where he ranked fifth in SG: OTT. Talented collegiate player who won twice on the KFT last year and has also shown some form on that Tour of late, coming off an eighth-place finish there from last week. Much like his old college teammate, Matthew Wolff, Ventura should find this type of aggressive setup at TPC Twin Cities to his liking.

Aaron Wise ($7,100)

This is more of a long-term talent play. Wise comes having missed three of his last four cuts and having recorded 10 missed cuts already on the year. He’s too good to keep missing weekends, though, and it’s notable that his best finish of 2019-2020 was at the Bermuda Open where he finished third in a weaker field off of a missed cut.

K.H. Lee ($6,800)

Has been flashing with both his putter and iron play lately, comes into this week on two-event made-cut streak. Gained nearly six strokes on approach in his second-to-last start at the Rocket Mortgage but couldn’t get any traction on the greens there. Otherwise might have challenged for a top 20. Streaky player who can pile up birdies in a hurry and played well for three rounds earlier in the year at another Arnold Palmer course at Bay Hill.

Brandon Hagy ($6,700)

Big hitter off the tee. Hagy’s had limited starts this year but has looked solid in his last couple of events and ranked top 15 in SG: P in his last two outings. Driver heavy nature of TPC Twin Cities should play into his best strength long-term.

Cameron Davis ($6,500)

Another big hitter who should put himself into some great positions for birdies and eagles this week if that club is firing for him. His last outing was an adventure as he nailed three birdies and an eagle, all in a row on Friday, yet still ended up missing the cut at the Workday by a stroke. Four-event missed-cut streak, but his early-season form showed he can produce some wonderful DraftKings scores when he makes the weekend.


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