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2022 3M Open First Round Leader Picks

Geoff Ulrich



The PGA Tour gets a huge change in scenery this week, as it goes from a pure links venue to TPC Twin Cities, which is a flat parkland setting with lots of water for the players to hit around. Despite the abundance of water in play, the venue has large fairways and greens, meaning any type of player can go low on any given day. For first-round leader purposes, 2021 saw a four-way tie with four different players shooting 64. Past seasons have seen rounds of 63 and 62 grab solo outright wins in the first-round leader market, and low scoring will almost certainly be needed again with decent conditions on tap.

For 2022, the weather may give a slight advantage to the early starters, as winds are expected to be 5 to 10 mph higher for the late starters. Afternoon starters have gone low at this venue on Thursday in the past, but weather could be a factor in 2022. Using OddsShopper golf betting tools, we’ll identify some of the best values on the board below for the first-round leader market at the 2022 3M Open this week.

2022 3M Open First Round Leader Bets

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Best First Round Leader Picks

Mattias Schwab First Round Leader +9500 | FanDuel

Not only is Schwab at great outright prices after he missed the cut last week, but he’s also going out very early in the first group on Thursday, giving him potential as a first-round leader play. Early looks like the preferred wave for the first round, as the wind does get up to 13 to 15 mph in the afternoon on Thursday, so it would not be shocking to see someone in the first couple of groups go low. Schwab’s putting has been much improved this year, and he gained over eight strokes on approach at TPC Twin Cities last year. He’s also shot 69 or better in seven of his last nine first rounds on the PGA Tour in regular stroke-play events, so he has been a quick starter in general. These odds are massive for a solid player in a weak field, and the early Thursday tee time makes this an auto-bet.

Troy Merritt First Round Leader +8000 | PointsBet

Merritt is another early starter who carries lots of upside with his putter and some great course history at TPC Twin Cities. He is streaky and hasn’t been getting off to good starts of late but will certainly view this field and venue as one he can take advantage of. Merritt has played TPC Twin Cities each of the past three years and finished seventh at the venue upon debut in 2019. Twice he’s shot 64 on the course in 10 competitive rounds, and one of those came in the first round at this event last season, when he landed in a four-way tie for first after Round 1. Given that the venue has produced lots of great results from high-end putters, the early tee times and big odds make Merritt a great first-round leader play this week.

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Longshot First Round Leader Picks

Michael Gligic +12500 | BetMGM

In-form players the afternoon wave can be good first-round leader plays, especially if they are available at longer odds like Michael Gligic is. While his PGA resume doesn’t boost many top finishes, Gligic has been very solid of late, especially with the putter, which has gained him over three strokes in each of his last three starts. Gligic has now shot 64 or better in a round in each of his last two PGA Tour starts, and both of those rounds have come either in Round 1 or Round 2. He’ll be playing TPC Twin Cities for the third time this season and shot a 65 in Round 4 at the event back in 2020. With nearly triple-digit odds available on him in the first-round leader market and a good record of being able to produce some low rounds on easier setups, he’s an easy add and provides exposure to the afternoon wave in case the winds are milder than forecasted.

Other Notables

Wyndham Clark First Round Leader +6600 | BetMGM

Matthew Nesmith First Round Leader +8000 | PointsBet

Brandon Hagy First Round Leader +13000 | DraftKings

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3M Open First Round Matchup Bets

Dylan Frittelli (+140) Three Ball: Taylor vs. Werenski vs. Frittelli | DraftKings

These seem like more than fair odds to take Dylan Frittelli to win a Thursday matchup. He will be at slight travel disadvantage after playing the Open last week but is also used to heavy flying miles, being a former member of the European Tour. He’s made 13 of his last 14 cuts on the PGA Tour and has finally started to make some strides in his tee-to-green game. Neither Richy Werenski nor Vaughn Taylor have put in a low round in a PGA Tour competitive situation in quite some time, and Frittelli is no stranger to peaking on this easy stretch of the summer, as he gained his only PGA win at the John Deere in 2019. The +140 odds are excellent, as Frittelli is clearly the best player of this group (both in short-term form and long-term potential) but isn’t being given much respect with the odds as just a very slight favorite.

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