Power Rankings: 3M Open

Power Rankings: 3M Open
Power Rankings: 3M Open

The 2023 major season is in the history books, but there’s still plenty of work to be done as the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season winds down.

The next two tournaments will finalize the field of 70 for the FedExCup Playoffs. Both this week’s 3M Open and next week’s Wyndham Championship are traditional stroke-play competitions on familiar courses, so the objectives are simplified even when they’re not so simple.

Justin Thomas, Sahith Theegala and 2021 3M Open winner Cameron Champ will be among the notables in Golfbet Insider.

The only thing hotter than the daytime high on Thursday might be a fastball delivered by the closer of the Minnesota Twins, Jhoan Duran. His average heater of almost 102 mph tops Major League Baseball, so if the actual temperature at TPC Twin Cities doesn’t touch triple digits, the heat index is certain to do so.

With no relief from the sun, hydration will be the primary gameplan all day, but an equally aggressive strategy in attacking pins will save it. Sweltering conditions will abate into the weekend and some rain might fall, so there will be every reason to keep the pedal on the metals for all four rounds.

The breezes that generated a scoring average of 71.438 last year – the only measurement over the tournament’s par of 71 in four editions of the event – will lay down and should stay down after the opening round so that the field will beat par for the week.

The modifications made to the course won’t impact scoring in the aggregate, but one of last year’s changes remains: Once again, primary rough has been allowed to grow as high as 4 inches. Bentgrass greens averaging 6,500 square feet could reach 13 feet on the Stimpmeter.

With all three par 5s flirting with 600 yards on a given day, TPC Twin Cities can stretch to 7,431 yards overall, but the par-5 18th doesn’t present a mindset as a gimme of a par breaker to close out a round.

A year ago, the 596-yard finishing hole was the hardest of the 163 par 5s on the PGA TOUR all season. Holding up to +0.105 strokes over par on average, it was one of three par 5s over par for the entirety of a tournament. Yes, wind was an influence, but it’s a risk-reward both off the tee and into the green over water, so there’s the potential of a hero shot at the buzzer. Despite prevailing by three, defending champion Tony Finau wasn’t thrilled with the walk-off bogey that left him even par on the hole for the week, but it validated being in position to absorb what felt like an anticlimactic way to polish off a victory.


ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE

PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.

MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers
WEDNESDAY: Golfbet Insider
SUNDAY: Payouts and Points, Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle

By Ch Fahad Khan Janda