The PGA season is coming to a close but not before a handful of tournaments left in the season. The 3M Open takes place this week in Minnesota at TPC Twin Cities. The field is a bit soft, so looking in the outright market could bring a lot more volatility but also more reward. Hideki Matsuyama is only one of six major champions in attendance, while Tony Finau and Sungjae Im round out the list of notables. Value for me means looking in the head-to-head market. Here are two matchups I like for this week.
Emiliano Grillo (-120) vs Dylan Frittelli
I’ve opted to back the better ball strikers. In a weaker field, on an easier course, on putting greens that are fair game, the scoring could come from ball striking and around the green. Since April, Grillo is top 10 in the field for his off the tee play and top 20 for ball striking.
Though these fairways are on the wider side, good shots off the tee can set you nicely for your iron shots. Grillo has gained strokes on approach in three of his last four events. One of those events was a T2 in the John Deere Classic earlier this month. Team no putt is always a concern but he has gained strokes putting in back-to-back events.
Frittelli, on the other hand, has lost strokes off the tee in four of his last five events played and ranked bottom 10 on tour for accuracy. Frittelli did miss the cut here last year, having lost nearly five strokes off the tee.
Neither player has been particularly great as of late. Both missed the cut in the Scottish Open, had poor performances in the Open Championship and have in-the-red stats over the course of the last few months. I’m looking at consistency as a reason for backing Im. He has a skill pairing that could work well here on this course, good off the tee and good around the green. Im’s iron play can be questionable but he did go on a roll there for a bit, gaining strokes on approach in four straight events from the Masters to the Memorial.
Matsuyama is more of a wild card for me in any tournament. His strokes gained stats are all over the place; he sometimes gains and other times loses in every category. Matsuyama did finish fourth in the U.S. Open a few tournaments ago, but I’m backing Im to use his combo skills off the tee and around the green to contend. Dealing with a back injury during the Open Championship, Im lost over 10 strokes putting, the worst of his career by a large margin. That's not something that'll be replicated.