21 JULY 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

The final major of 2021 is in the books and Collin Morikawa put on a clinic to grab his second career major at just 24 years old. There were quite a few of us interested in a Jordan Spieth victory, but it was not meant to be. Let’s walk back our picks before looking at the 3M Open.

The Draft King Soly is putting everyone else to shame and he doesn’t care who knows it! Another winning week for him after hitting Koepka and Oosthuizen top 10’s. He narrowly missed a Jordan Spieth win and had two other losses, but the king lives on.

At the other end of the spectrum is Randy, who went 0-5 yet again. He had four win bets on Webb Simpson, Viktor Hovland, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter as well as a top 30 on Richard Bland. Maybe he’ll find some form before the playoffs start?

DJ Pie was another sad Spieth backer (as well as Dustin Johnson), but he did hit a hefty Robert MacIntyre top 10 at +650!

(Still) speaking of Spieth backers, Tron had a winless week after picking Hatton, Hovland and Spieth to win, Leishman to top 5 and Marcus Armitage to top 40. TC is still up on the season, but barely.

Neil says he’s breaching and his Spieth top 10 and Oosthuizen top 5 would seem to agree. Win bets on Hatton, Hovland and Schauffele were not to be, but it was a respectable week for the ol’ beluga!

For the Walk It In guys, Mark finished dead even after losing his first round bet on Rahm, a top 30 on Richard Bland and a win bet on Spieth, among others. He managed to hit on Spieth top 20, Poulter top 4 Englishman and Fitzpatrick over DeChambeau. Jeff was down slightly after losing some placement bets on Harris English, Patrick Cantlay and some others. He scored a nice hit on Robert MacIntyre to be the top lefty, however.

Now that the majors are done, we preview this week’s 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities before the Olympics start and then the playoffs shortly after that!

The Approach

If you’re going to putt for dough it helps when you’ve given yourself more putts inside the leather than double breakers so where are the guys looking this week on their approach? Jeff is away and goes first at TPC Twin Cities!

Jeff: It’s crazy to think that we’re already done with the majors for 2021. What a ride it was. I really like handicapping tournaments like this though. I think there are a few more angles than when you have all the big boys in the field. This week for me I’m going with birdie or better % (birdie fest the last two years) and a combo of distance and accuracy (water is in play a lot here). Obviously approach is in there as well to find some hot hands.

Mark: This week is all about accuracy tee-to-green as this is yet another easy, scorable setup for professional golfers. There’s a bunch of water at TPC Twin Cities, but if that is avoided, numbers will be low. A quick look at the last two years of this tournament proves putting doesn’t really matter here as Matthew Wolff and Michael Thompson both put up gaudy numbers en route to victory while being very poor putters. In addition to accuracy, I’m looking at driving distance and par 5 scoring.

Inside the Leather

Jeff’s Picks:

Lucas Herbert Top 20 (+200) - 2 units

Herbert has been cruising lately. Even with a missed cut last week he wasn’t awful compared to his peers, and he had a run of three straight top 20s from there. Let’s hope it stays in the black. His putter is in great form and his approach and driving numbers are also really strong compared to this field. In fact, he’s 9th in this field in SG: T2G in the last 12 rounds.

Kyle Stanley Top 20 (+280) - 1 unit

A surprising guy near the top of SG: T2G in the last 12 and 36 rounds was Stanley. Unfortunately for him the putter hasn’t been there. You know who has similar problems like that sometimes? Collin. Let’s see if Kyle can channel even an ounce of Collin’s iron and overall game. It’s not too tall a task.

Keegan Bradley Top 10 (+300) - 1 unit

Missed the cut by a stroke last week in The Open. I think that this is an opportunity for him in this field to make some noise. He’s one of the best with the driver. He’s similar to Kyle where his putter has been less than stellar but he can find a few good days to contend.

Lanto Griffin (EVEN) over Cam Davis - 1 unit

Cam Davis has a win at the Rocket Mortgage but his stats aren’t backing up this run of form. Yes, he’s played good golf lately, but I really like the steadiness of Griffin of late. He had a rough stretch in April and May, but he’s righted the ship nicely. He’s not really at placement play, but I think his form will outshine Davis.

Mark’s Picks:

Bubba Watson Top 20 (+188) - 2 units

Bubba Watson (-106) over Sergio Garcia - 1 unit

Two plays on Bubba this week, who I think should do well at this course with his distance. He is 7th on TOUR in SG: Off The Tee and 31st in SG: T2G. He’ll be able to attack the par 5’s and shorter par 4’s and will also benefit from not traveling to and from The Open.

Emiliano Grillo Top 20 (+150) - 1 unit

Had a little rough patch with three straight missed cuts, but came back with a vengeance last week at The Open with a T12. He’s 12th on TOUR in SG: Approach and 1st in the field in that category over his last 16 rounds. A true ball striker at a ball striker’s paradise!

Luke List Top 20 (+225) - 1 unit

This Gary Woodland lookalike has finished T4 and T5 in consecutive weeks, ranks 6th on TOUR in driving distance, 36th in GIR% and 13th in par 5 scoring. On a fan and human level, I’ve really enjoyed rooting for him the last few weeks after learning about his newborn’s health issues and how his family has handled it all.

Double Breaker

Jeff’s Picks:

Bubba Watson to win (+3500) - 1 unit

Hank Lebioda to win (+5000) - .75 unit

Lucas Herbert to win (+5000) - .5 unit

A three pack of win bets this week. I’m really high on all three guys for their recent form. We saw Seamus Power finally get his after a great run. I think this is another opportunity to capitalize on guys who are firing on all cylinders. I already touched on Herbert, but Lebioda is a carbon copy of Power. He’s poking around all over the map, and this might be his week. Bubba is another one who didn’t go to The Open, he should be well rested, and he’s been in contention now for a couple of weeks. All three are in the top 16 SG: T2G in this field in the last 12 rounds. I just need Bubba to find the hot putter that Lebioda and Herbert have had.

Mark’s Picks:

Hank Lebioda Top 10 (+400) - 1 unit

Hank Lebioda to win (+5000) - .5 unit

I’m going back to Hank one more time, and why not? He’s got three straight top 10’s now and like Jeff said, I’m picking up Seamus Power vibes as someone playing really well and then breaking through for a win. He’s played in this tournament both years with a T26 and T34, but is much better than he was at those times. Ranks 18th in GIR% and 24th in putting on TOUR.

Keegan Bradley Top 10 (+350) - 1 unit

Jeff has this same play Inside the Leather, but I have a little better number so here we are in Double Breaker. Keegan is an absolute weapon off the tee and with his irons, ranking 6th on TOUR in SG: T2G, 4th in approach, 23rd in GIR% and 21st in par 5 scoring. He stinks at putting, but it wasn’t a problem for Wolff and Thompson and I don’t anticipate it holding Bradley back this week.