Best bets for four golf events this weekend

reynolds
Collin Morikawa (35-1) had exactly one week of links golf experience coming into the British Open last week. He finished T-71 at the Scottish Open the week prior, and that was all he needed. The 24-year-old is proving to be wise beyond his years. He made the proper adjustments, including replacing all his shorter irons in the bag, and won the British Open at Royal St. George's on debut. That is now two major championships won in just eight starts for Morikawa, and he is the fastest to two majors since Bobby Jones in 1926. Morikawa will take a well-deserved week off this week before heading to Tokyo to compete for an Olympic gold medal against a field of 60, including Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Hideki Matsuyama.
The PGA Tour returns to action this week at the 3M Open in the Twin Cities. Dustin Johnson (7-1) finished tied for eighth at the British Open last weekend and is the favorite this week. He’ll make his second appearance in this event as he shot 78 in the first round before a WD in the second-round last year. Louis Oosthuizen (12-1) led after each of the first three rounds at the British Open but fell just short for the third time this year in a major with a third. Tony Finau (14-1) was 15th last week and finished third in Minneapolis last year. Patrick Reed (16-1) surprisingly missed the cut last week in England, but much like Finau, he is at this event in part to earn some Ryder Cup points (he ranks eighth; Finau 12th) as only the top six are guaranteed spots on the team before captain Steve Stricker (who is also in this week's field at 80-1) makes six picks of his own. 
Cameron Tringale (30-1) was third in the 3M last year and had a respectable British Open (T-26) but still seeks his first PGA Tour victory. Bubba Watson and inaugural 3M Open champion Matthew Wolff (both 33-1) did not play in the British Open last week. Both Sergio Garcia (33-1) and Emiliano Grillo (35-1) earned top-20 finishes last week at Royal St. George's. Grillo also finished in a tie for third in the Twin Cities last year. Cameron Davis (40-1) had visa issues and was unable to play in the British Open last week but is just three weeks removed from his first PGA Tour win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Michael Thompson, the 2020 3M Open champion, is 80-1 to defend his title. 
 
 
THE EVENT
The 3M Open is just in its third year as a PGA Tour event. However, it does have a lengthy history from its previous incarnation as the 3M Championship, which was held annually on the PGA Tour Champions from 1993 to 2018. The Champions event was held on this TPC Twin Cities course from 2001 to 2018. Paul Goydos set the course record of 60 in the 2017 Champions event. Title sponsor 3M is headquartered just outside the Twin Cities in Maplewood, Minn., and is one of only 30 companies to be part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. With $32.8 billion in total sales in 2018, 3M was easily able to part ways with the $16 million annually to be the title sponsor for this event. The field strength is a bit down considering it is the week after a major and precedes the off week for most players due to the Olympics in Tokyo. 
THE COURSE 
TPC Twin Cities is in Blaine, which is 13 miles north of Minneapolis and 20 miles from St. Paul. The track was designed in 2000 by Arnold Palmer with consultation from Tom Lehman. Native Minnesotans Lehman and Tim Herron along with Steve Wenzloff, PGA Tour VP of design services, renovated the layout in 2018. TPC Twin Cities is part of the Tournament Players Club group of courses owned by the PGA Tour. The course will play as a par-71 of 7,431 yards. It is a relatively easy and gettable Palmer design with three shorter and drivable par-4s that longer hitters can reach. With 3 par-5s measuring 594 yards (sixth), 593 yards (12th) and 596 yards (18th) in length, the longest holes on the course show some resistance here, but both sets of par-3s and par-4s are easy from a PGA Tour scoring perspective. There are 27 water hazards in play over 15 holes, so it resembles a bit of a Florida-type layout. In addition, there are 72 bunkers. The fairways are constructed of Bentgrass and they will play hard and fast with plenty of rollout. In addition, the course is at around 900 feet altitude, so the ball will fly a bit farther than normal. The rough can be a pesky three-inch Bluegrass/Fescue mix. The greens are large (6,500 square feet) and fast (12 stimpmeter) Pure Bentgrass. It had been a relatively dry summer in the Twin Cities with only one inch of rain since May 1, but the course received 1.19 inches of rain last Wednesday.
TPC Twin Cities is an Arnold Palmer original design, so here are some other Palmer designs played on the PGA Tour:
PGA West, Palmer Private: 2008-15 Career Builder Challenge
Bay Hill Country Club: Arnold Palmer Invitational
TPC Boston: Dell Technologies Championship
Isleworth Golf & Country Club: 2014 Hero World Challenge
Albany: 2015-18 Hero World Challenge
RECENT HISTORY
2020: Michael Thompson (-19/265); 125-1
2019: Matthew Wolff (-21/263); 175-1
STATS, TRENDS AND ANGLES
The two winners at TPC Twin Cities have ranked fourth (Thompson) and second (Wolff) in the field for Strokes Gained: Approach during their winning weeks.
Strokes Gained Approach
1. Emiliano Grillo 27.8
2. Kyle Stanley 27.7
3. Stewart Cink 23.2
4. Keegan Bradley 23.2
5. Sergio Garcia 18.8
6. Louis Oosthuizen 17.7
7. Cameron Percy 17.3
8. Bo Hoag 16.4
9. Patrick Reed 16.4
10. Doug Ghim 15.7
11. Luke List 15.1
12. Matthew NeSmith 14.8
Note: Last 24 rounds
The two winners at TPC Twin Cities have ranked third (Thompson) and sixth (Wolff) in the field for GIR during their winning weeks. 
GIR Gained
1. Jhonattan Vegas 30
2. Louis Oosthuizen 30
3. Keegan Bradley 28.9
4. Doug Ghim 28.4
5. Sergio Garcia 27.8
6. Kyle Stanley 23.9
7. Hank Lebioda 23.5
8. Luke List 23.4
9. Michael Gellerman 22.1
10. Emiliano Grillo 21.7
11. Russell Knox 19.9
12. Patrick Rodgers 17.4
Note: Last 24 rounds
These are relatively wide fairways (38 yards wide on average). Both big hitters (Wolff) off the tee and shorter, accurate hitters (Thompson) can win here. Finding the right mix of distance and accuracy will prove beneficial.
Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee
1. Jhonattan Vegas 22.5
2. Cameron Champ 21.1
3. Bubba Watson 20
4. Dustin Johnson 19.5
5. Patrick Rodgers 19.3
6. Keith Mitchell 16.6
7. Sergio Garcia 15.7
8. Charles Howell III 15.5
9. Luke List 15.1
10. Joseph Bramlett 15.1
11. Tom Lewis 14.7
12. Mito Pereira 10 (16 Rounds)
Note: Last 24 rounds
As much as the course has been renovated since the PGA Tour Champions event in 2018 when 350 yards of distance was added, this is still a course there for the taking where you’d better make a lot of birdies and/or eagles or you will get left behind in a hurry.
Birdie Or Better Gained
1. Bubba Watson 20.6
2. Patton Kizzire 20.4
3. Dustin Johnson 19.1
4. Satoshi Kodaira 18.2
5. Hank Lebioda 18.2
6. Pat Perez 15.9
7. Maverick McNealy 15.1
8. Adam Schenk 14.1
9. Cameron Davis 14.1
10. Sergio Garcia 12.5
11. Rafael Campos 12.3
12. Cameron Tringale 12
13. Jhonattan Vegas 12
Note: Last 24 rounds
Birdie Or Better accounts for Putting conversions, but Opportunities Gained accounts for Scoring Opportunities Gained: Birdie opportunities inside 15 feet from green or fringe PLUS Greens/Fringe Under Regulation.
Opportunities Gained
1. Kyle Stanley 29.1
2. Emiliano Grillo 23.6
3. Jason Dufner 22.5
4. Stewart Cink 22.2
5. Patton Kizzire 21.2
6. Luke List 20.8
7. Keegan Bradley 20.8
8. Louis Oosthuizen 18.5
9. Chez Reavie 15.7
10. Doug Ghim 15.7
11. Gary Woodland 14.3
12. Joel Dahmen 14.2
Note: Last 24 rounds
Five par-4 holes on the TPC Twin Cities layout play between 450 and 500 yards.
Strokes Gained Par-4s 450-500
1. Louis Oosthuizen 22.6
2. Chris Kirk 13.9
3. Brendon Todd 12.1
4. Steve Stricker 11.3
5. Rickie Fowler 11.3
6. Bubba Watson 11.2
7. Luke List 11.1
8. James Hahn 11.1
9. Chris Baker 10.6
10. Patrick Rodgers 10.4
11. Keegan Bradley 10.1
12. Dustin Johnson 9.8
Note: Last 24 rounds
SELECTIONS
Sergio Garcia 35-1
After four straight missed cuts, Garcia has posted four straight top-20 finishes. 
Sergio rates in the top 10 in this week's field for SG: Off-The-Tee, SG: Approach, GIR Gained, and Birdie or Better. 
Putting has always been an uphill battle with Garcia, but he's only losing -0.3 SG: Putting over his last five starts and did gain on tough greens at the U.S. Open last month. 
Bubba Watson 40-1
Watson missed the British Open last week due to COVID-19 contact tracing, but it could potentially be a blessing in disguise as most players in this field were either playing the British Open or were grinding at the Barbasol last weekend. 
After blowing a back-nine lead on Sunday at the Travelers, Watson rebounded with a T-6 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the following week. His 131 on the weekend tied for best in the field that week.
Currently ranked 56th in the world, Watson needs a big week to climb back into the top 50 and get into the WGC: FedEx St. Jude Invitational in two weeks. 
Doug Ghim 50-1
Ghim was 18th on debut here last summer. 
He ranked second in SG: Approach and 6th for SG: Tee-To-Green in his last start two weeks ago at the John Deere Classic.
The putter can be shaky, just like his close friend and fellow Las Vegas resident Collin Morikawa, but he has gained on the greens in two of his last three starts. 
Jhonattan Vegas 70-1
Vegas has had three top-11 finishes dating to the Byron Nelson. 
The Venezuelan leads this week's field for both SG: Off-The-Tee and GIR Gained. He has also gained at least + 2.1 SG: Approach on four of his past five starts.
Putting is always the weak part of his game, but he was + 3.2 SG: Putting two weeks ago on the Bentgrass at the John Deere Classic two weeks ago. 
Mito Pereira 80-1
The 26-year-old from Chile accomplished a rare feat last month. Pereira won his third Korn Ferry Tour event of the season (including the shortened 2020 season) and earned the immediate "battlefield promotion" directly to the PGA Tour. 
He ranks eighth in ball striking, ninth in total driving and 14th in greens in regulation on the KFT.
Pereira has had three starts on the PGA Tour in the last three weeks and has improved each time out. First missing the cut by two at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, followed by 34th at the John Deere Classic and an excellent fifth-place finish in the Barbasol Championship last week, where he ranked fourth for SG: Tee-To-Green and second for SG: Off-The-Tee.
Bo Hoag 110-1
Hoag finished 12th last year in his lone appearance at the 3M.
He has made six of his last seven cuts, including a 13th at the Memorial and an 11th last week at the Barbasol, where he rated third in the field for SG: Approach and was second in that category at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Hoag sits in the last spot to get into the FedEx Cup Playoffs at No. 125 despite not having a top-10 finish. This looks like a good spot to lock in his status for next year. 
Bo Van Pelt 300-1
We will go with another Bo here. Van Pelt sits at No. 152 in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a high finish to regain that full PGA Tour status.
Van Pelt, 46, missed essentially the better part of four seasons from 2016 to 2019 with various injuries. Last year was supposed to be his comeback year, but he missed 16 of 20 overall cuts.
In 2021, he has shown some life with a runner-up several weeks ago at the Palmetto. He was just T-31 last week at the Barbasol but ranked sixth in approach play. In addition, his family from Indiana made the trip to Lexington to see him play, and that might give him some extra inspiration this week. 
 
Cazoo Open
Robert MacIntyre finished top 10 last week in the British Open at Royal St. George's. He was slated to be the co-favorite in this event but gained a spot in the 3M Open this week, so he is in Minneapolis trying to gain the 90 FedEx Cup points he needs to become eligible for special temporary membership on the PGA Tour. Therefore, the field quality takes a bit of a hit without him in the field. Matt Wallace (9-1) made the cut last week in the British Open and is ranked in the OWGR Top 60 but is seeking his first win since 2018. Sam Horsfield (12-1) also made the cut last week and did win the Celtic Classic on this course at Celtic Manor last summer. Justin Harding (16-1) was on the first page of the leaderboard a couple of times last weekend before settling for a T-19. Aaron Rai (16-1) joined Harding last week in the group that finished T-19 at 4 under. Laurie Canter (22-1) was not in the British Open last week but finished T-5 in the Wales Open here last summer. Adrian Otaegui (20-1) has risen over 50 spots in the OWGR over the past couple of months and has made nine straight cuts. Jordan Smith (25-1), like Wallace, Horsfield, Rai and Canter, is another Englishman toward the higher end of the odds board. Matthew Jordan (33-1) and Calum Hill (33-1) both had top-10 finishes in the Wales Open last year, finishing third and eighth, respectively. 
THE EVENT
COVID-19 forced many changes in the European Tour schedule in 2020, including last August when events were held at Celtic Manor Resort in consecutive weeks — the Celtic Classic and the ISPS Handa Wales Open. This year Celtic Manor stays on the schedule as the host for the newly titled Cazoo Open. Cazoo, an online car retailer based in London, takes over the sponsorship of this event and will sponsor the English Open at London Golf Club as the Cazoo Classic in a few weeks. Cazoo is also the primary sponsor of both Aston Villa F.C. and Everton F.C. in the English Premier League. Welsh footballer Gareth Bale, a standout player for the Wales National Team, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, is also a financial supporter of this event. The Wales Open began in 2000 and ran until 2014 before being dropped from the schedule for five years and returning last summer. 
THE COURSE
The Twenty-Ten Course at Celtic Manor was designed in 2007 by Ross McMurray along with a conversion of Wentwood Hills, designed by Robert Trent Jones, into this track. It was specifically redesigned for the 2010 Ryder Cup. It is a 7,315-yard, par-71 that encourages bombs off the tee, but you ought not go too wayward as water is in play on nine holes and there are a lot of risk-reward holes and forced carries. The course has a different makeup than most par-71s in that there are four par-5s and five par-3s. The par-3s are the toughest holes on the course by and large. Length off the tee certainly helps, but it's not a complete requirement. The Bentgrass/Poa Annua greens are in fairly good shape but well-bunkered. You need the proper combination of distance and accuracy (Total Driving) to go along with GIR and Scrambling. 
RECENT HISTORY
Celtic Classic
2020: Sam Horsfield (-18/266); 28-1
ISPS Handa Wales Open
2020: Romain Langasque (-8/276); 66-1
2014: Joost Luiten (-14/270); 14-1
2013: Gregory Bourdy (-8/276); 40-1
2012: Thongchai Jaidee (-6/278); 125-1
Saab Wales Open
2011: Alex Noren (-9/275); 66-1
Celtic Manor Wales Open
2010: Graeme McDowell (-15/269); 22-1
TRENDS AND ANGLES
Both winners at Celtic Manor last year rated in the top 15 in their winning weeks for both Scrambling and GIR (Greens In Regulation). Here is how they fared in the Strokes Gained data:
Wales Open, Romain Langasque: Off-The-Tee: 4th; Approach: 18th; Tee-To-Green: 12th; Around The Green: 69th; Putting: 8th
Celtic Classic, Sam Horsfield: Off-The-Tee: 22nd; Approach: 3rd; Tee-To-Green: 2nd; Around The Green: 28th; Putting: 13th
SELECTIONS
Laurie Canter 22-1
Canter finished fifth in this event last year at Celtic Manor. 
He has gained strokes off the tee in 11 of his last 12 starts and with his approaches on each of his last six.
Canter rates second on the European Tour for SG: Off-The-Tee.
Connor Syme 35-1
Syme was the 54-hole leader at Celtic Manor last year in back-to-back weeks but did not earn a victory in either start (eighth and third). 
His finishes of 41st and 35th over his last two starts are not spectacular, but he was top 10 for GIR in Scotland and looks more in form than his missed-cuts spell in the spring.
Daniel Van Tonder 35-1
Van Tonder was on the first page of the leaderboard last week at Royal St. George's after 36 holes in seventh place. The South African fell to 40th on the weekend in just his second career major. 
He has won five times in the last 11 months (four on the Sunshine Tour and his first European Tour win in Kenya this past March). Van Tonder also tends to get out of the blocks quickly, having led five times in his last 27 starts after the first round.
Van Tonder leads the European Tour for SG: Off-The-Tee.
Jacques Kruyswijk 66-1
Another South African makes the card here. 
Kruyswijk leads the European Tour for Scoring Average (68.75) and is second in SG: Total. 
Sebastian Heisele 80-1
Heisele finished in the top 15 in both appearances at Celtic Manor last summer.
 
The Evian Championship
Women's golf begins a four-week midsummer sojourn to Europe, with a week at the Olympics in Tokyo in between, beginning with the year's fourth major at the Amundi Evian Championship in France. Nelly Korda (9-1) won the last LPGA major in June at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and took over the World No. 1 ranking. Jin Young Ko (11-1) responded to losing that World No 1 ranking by winning the next week at the Volunteers of America Classic in Dallas. She also is the defending champion (2019) in this event. World No. 3 Inbee Park (16-1) is also a former winner of this event in 2012 and has four other top-10 finishes here since. Hyo-Joo Kim (18-1) is the World No. 5 and is also a former winner at the Evian (2014) and comes in with two straight top-10s over the last few weeks. World No. 4 Sei Young Kim (18-1) has yet to win in 2021 but has three top-6 finishes in her last four appearances at the Evian. 
Ariya Jutanugarn (22-1) won the team event last weekend with older sister Moriya at Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Michigan. Patty Tavatanakit (28-1) won her first LPGA major and overall tour event at the ANA Inspiration earlier this year in April and has had three top-5s since. Brooke Henderson, Lydia Ko and Matilda Castren have all gotten into the winner's circle this year and all are priced at 33-1. 
THE EVENT
The Amundi Evian Championship was founded 27 years ago in 1994 on the Ladies European Tour (LET) as the Evian Masters, one of two major championships on the LET. The Evian was not originally a major on the LPGA Tour, but it became an LPGA co-sanctioned event in 2000. In 2013, the Evian was upgraded to major championship status. Although the brand of mineral water Evian comes from several sources near Évian-les-Bains, where this tournament is played, the official sponsor of the event is now French asset management company Amundi, which is based in Paris. The Evian, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19, is the first of two majors that will be held over the next four weeks as the AIG Women's Open will conclude the four-week LPGA swing through Europe in mid-August. 
THE COURSE
The Evian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains, Haute-Savoie, France, which is about an hour drive from Geneva, Switzerland, has played host to this event since 1994. The track plays as a par-71 of 6,434 yards, and the elevation is on average around 1,500 feet above sea level. The fairways are tree-lined and narrow, and the fast greens are protected by pot bunkers. Thicker rough will be consistent throughout the course, so driving accuracy and greens in regulation are even more important this week.
RECENT HISTORY
2019: Jin-Young Ko (-15/269); 14-1
2018: Angela Stanford (-12/272); 160-1
2017: Anna Nordqvist (-9/204); 35-1*
2016: In-Gee Chun (-21/263); 25-1
2015: Lydia Ko (-16/268); 9-1
2014: Hyo-Joo Kim (-11/273); 25-1
2013: Suzann Pettersen (-10/203); 8-1
* playoff win over Brittany Altomare
Note: 2013 and 2017 were shortened to 54 holes due to weather. 
SELECTIONS
Jin-Young Ko 11-1
The defending champion and World No. 2 player won her last LPGA event leading into this week.
Korean players have tended to take to this course in the Evian due to the narrow fairways and the hilly layout. Ko also ranks fifth on Tour for GIR.
Sei-Young Kim 18-1
Kim is still looking for her first victory in 2021. 
The current World No. 4 and 2020 Women's PGA champion has never finished worse than 17th here in five appearances, including a runner-up in 2018.
Matilda Castren 40-1
The 26-year-old from Finland has won her first LPGA Tour event and first Ladies European Tour event over the course of the last six weeks.
Castren won the Mediheal Championship in June and the Gant Ladies Open in her native Finland last weekend. She ranks sixth on tour for GIR.
Esther Henseleit 55-1
The 22-year-old rookie from Germany has back-to-back fourth-place finishes in her last two LPGA Tour events. 
Jennifer Kupcho 66-1
Kupcho finished runner-up in the Evian two years ago.
She also has two top-10s in her last three starts. Kupcho ranks eighth on tour for GIR. 
 
Senior British Open 
Jim Furyk broke through to win his first PGA Tour Champions major two weeks ago at the U.S. Senior Open. He is the 4-1 favorite for the Senior British Open on the other side of the pond. Retief Goosen (13-2) was the runner-up in Omaha to Furyk. Bernhard Langer (13-2) is a four-time winner of the Senior Open and is deep in the back nine of his career, but he is still competitive and did finish top 5 at the U.S. Senior Open and was runner-up here at Sunningdale in 2015. Miguel Angel Jimenez (8-1) was fourth here in 2015 and is also a former winner of this event (2018). Jerry Kelly (15-2) has finished in the top 8 of all four majors thus far. Ernie Els (10-1) is still seeking his first win of 2021, but he is a two-time winner of the Claret Jug. Alex Cejka (14-1) has already won two majors this season at the Regions Tradition and the Senior PGA Championship. 
THE EVENT
The Senior British Open is one of five major championships on PGA Tour Champions but is run by the R&A, which also runs the British Open. The event is part of both PGA Tour Champions and the European Senior Tour. Luxury watch manufacturer Rolex serves as the presenting sponsor. The tournament was first held 34 years ago in 1987 and became part of the European Seniors Tour schedule in 1992. In late 2002 it was designated as the fifth major championship on the PGA Tour Champions schedule. The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19. 
THE COURSE
Sunningdale Golf Club in Sunningdale, Berkshire, England plays host to this year's Senior British Open. The course is located about 30 miles southwest of London. The club was established in 1900 and the Old Course, designed by Willie Park Jr., was opened in 1901. It plays as a par-70 of 6,627 yards. The course record of 62 is jointly held by Nick Faldo (1986 European Open) and Shane Lowry (2010 British Open qualifying). Sunningdale is the venue for the Senior British Open for the third time this year. Loren Roberts won here in 2009 at -12 and Marco Dawson won in 2015 at -16. 
RECENT HISTORY
2019: Bernhard Langer (-6/274); Royal Lytham; 10-1
2018: Miguel Angel Jimenez (-12/276); St. Andrews; 10-1
2017: Bernhard Langer (-4/280); Royal Porthcawl; 5-1
2016: Paul Broadhurst (-11/277); Carnoustie; 50-1
2015: Marco Dawson (-16/264); Sunningdale; 66-1
2014: Bernhard Langer (-18/266); Royal Porthcawl; 6-1
SELECTIONS
Ernie Els 11-1
Darren Clarke 40-1
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