The final Major of the year has come and gone with one of the best finishes in recent memory. Cameron Smith made every putt he looked at, out-putting Rory McIlroy by 19 putts over the tournament.
Cameron Young, a favorite of mine, is now almost guaranteed to be the PGA Rookie of the Year after driving the green on the 18th and then drilling the eagle putt to lock down second place. The kid is just nails! He will be so fun to watch over the next few years.
Speaking of things coming to an end, this will be one of the last times I write before the summer comes to an end. It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner. The last putt of Major season always seems to be when I start thinking about football more and shifting gears. My social media feeds are clogged with the buzz of season-long junkies looking for early edges and high-upside gambles. Make no mistake, I will still be here giving golf picks. But, come fall, football Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) will be getting most of my attention.
Summer ending is depressing, especially in the upper midwest. We always send it out with a bang, though. Whether doubling down on lake time or ramping up the BBQs, it’s hard to find anyone I know inside this time of year.
My wife and I will be hosting one of these backyard blowouts this coming weekend. She decided that having a pool would be critical to this fiesta. As luck would have it, one of our close friends has a pool and would love nothing more than to re-home it (keep in mind this was an idea and decision that spawned from party planning at the bar).
My wife, being the least patient person I have possibly ever met, got the wheels in motion, and the pool was delivered (in pieces) before we even returned home that night. This pool is exactly what you would expect. Above ground, three feet tall by about 12 feet in diameter, essentially a giant adult bathtub for washing away the copious amounts of booze seeping from your pores in 90-degree heat.
My wife, in true fashion, needed this mobile lagoon assembled and filled without delay. I was able to convince her to let the sun come up first (small wins). I’m thankful I have friends who enjoy a cold beer as much as I do.
With minimal convincing, one of these poor saps arrived at my house. I pitched him the idea by telling him that the box that the parts came in clearly stated: “Ready for Fun in 30 Minutes.”
I love my friends dearly, but we are all the same… Hungover? How about a beer on my patio to recover? It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. We did our due diligence and had a few beers before beginning the construction phase.
Key Points for Assembling a “Trash” Pool
• Find level ground (see the above picture). To the eye, the parcel of land we chose is quite flat. When they say flat, they mean FLAT. It turns out one side of the pool is about 8” higher.
• Place the pool as far from overhanging trees as possible. Contrary to popular belief, branches and leaves do, in fact, still fall in the summertime. I have spent more time cleaning the pool than sitting in it.
• Make sure you take into account the position of the sun. It’s the giant ball of burning gas that you’re actually trying to escape with the pool but is critical to heating said pool. We nailed this part after a quick geography lesson.
• Erect a deck of some sort. This is later on once you finally spend time in the pool and realize that you must document every second on social media and will need somewhere to set your beer and phone from time to time. Secondly, skipping a song on whatever bargain Bluetooth speaker you have is much less daunting when you can reach your phone easily.
• Similarly, make sure you have access to a power source. We used a three outlet extension cord to power the pool filter, an Apple charger and a USB-C.
• Have an area designated for towels and sandals. In conjunction, I would also recommend a doormat for wiping your feet off. The pool is chlorinated, but you will be exiting it frequently to use the facilities. Our house was filthy with lawn debris, mud, and excess water almost instantly.
• 30 minutes to assemble and envision the fun might have been a more accurate expectation for the manufacturer to have set. Even while slightly impaired, it took us less than 30 minutes to assemble this beacon of good times. However, it took upwards of six hours to fill the pool and another eight-plus hours to get it to a decent temperature.
It may sound like I hate the pool. Yet, I have to give my wife credit for always living in the moment and trying to be fun because I love it. I would not have agreed to adopt the beautiful blue trash pool had it not been for her. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s awesome to have the ability to hop in there to cool off and grab a cold one in-between yard games and grilling. I highly recommend it. I hope that my “Trash Pool for Dummies” will help other skeptics be ready for fun in 30 minutes to 13 hours later.
Onto golf, something I’m also skeptical of but am hoping turns out as amazing as the pool did. This is notoriously a period with weaker fields, and unfortunately, these lesser field events are missing some of the usual players, in part because of the LIV Golf Tour, which I won’t dive into too much. Suffice it to say the PGA will need to do something sooner than later as more and more players are defecting. The threat of being banned from tour events does not appear to be enough of a deterrent.
TPC Twin Cities Course Breakdown
- Par 71
- 7,100-7,200 yards
This will be a birdie fest, even with a lesser field than usual. The course isn’t terribly difficult. There are lots of water hazards and bunkers, but even still the holes are scorable. I’ve wrote about this course in the past and how 15 of 18 holes have water in play. That is probably the biggest thing to know defense-wise.
It’s a relatively flat course, and most landing areas will yield favorable lies. Bent grass throughout, I’d expect rollout to be decent and the greens to be receptive but fast as well. There are three par threes over 200 yards and some of the easiest par fours on Tour. Two of the three par fives also rate as the 17th and 18th hardest holes on the course. Like I said, it’s pretty gettable.
I increased the lookback to 50 rounds this week to mitigate some variance caused by the Scotland swing we just went through. The conditions and stats from the last two events are not necessarily going to reflect any trends, in my opinion:
• Shots Gained Off the Tee
• Birdies or Better
• Shots Gained Approach
• Proximity from 100-125yds
• DraftKings (DK) Scoring is Also Minimally Baked In
3M Open Picks
Davis Riley ($9,000)
Davis Riley is my boy! We have been ride-or-die all season, and I’m not going to quit him now. He is excellent off the tee and great on approach. He bombs the ball at 62 percent accuracy. He hits 68 percent of Greens in Regulation. He also scores DK points by the truckload. This is the spot I’ve been waiting for with him. I’ve been calling for a win all year, and now’s the time!
Cameron Davis ($8,900)
Davis is probably the least exciting of the “Cam’s” nowadays, but I still love him. This price should help to mitigate some ownership too. He sets up similarly to Riley. He bombs it and is accurate off the tee with an impressive approach game to back it up. This is more than I typically like to pay for Davis, but he was looking great last time out, gaining 8.4 shots off the tee, 4.4 and 1.4 putting. He may well be my 2nd man in on most lineups.
Chris Gotterup ($7,900)
How quickly will the DFS community forget how hot this golfer was for several tournaments? We were early to the party, getting him at su-five percent rostership most weeks. He spiked to the 20% rostership area at the Barbasol and missed the cut. This is a good bounce-back spot and possibly a buy low at this price. He won’t stay sub-8,000 long as we move into the lesser-field events throughout the rest of the year.
Other Golfers in My Pool
• Tony Finua ($10,500)
• Adam Hadwin ($9,600)
• JT Poston ($8,500)
• Matthew NeSmith ($7,500)
• Joohyung “Tom” Kim ($7,300)
• Cole Hammer ($6,500)
• Dylan Menante ($6,500)
• CT Pan ($7,500)
“Last Call” Dart Throws of the Week
• Cameron Champ ($7,800)
• Adam Svensson ($7,600)
Cheers! Thanks for reading and considering my Travelers Challenge picks. Good luck this week!
Conor Coughlin (@Cough_DFS)