Augusta’s whisper is faint. April’s magnolia bloom is so distant it’s agonizing. There are no more Majors in 2023. Fear not; there are still victories to be had, both lucrative and in rife with lessons.
The 3M Open is the penultimate stop before the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Largely absent from this field are the golfers who are already locked into the top 70 in the points standings. This week is for the bubblers, along with defending champion Tony Finau. For many, it’s the final gut-it-out sprint on the back stretch of a marathon. The playoffs are where millions of dollars can be made in a hurry. Life-changing money in this business must be earned.
PGA DFS: 3M Open 2023 Breakdown
The 3M Open is held at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn. The par-71 track plays to more than 7,400 yards and features an absolute ton of water hazard treachery. The common denominator among champions here is excellent form off the tee, especially when combined with distance.
The winning score will approach 20-under par, so making birdies without faltering into too many squares on the scorecard is vital. The golfers will be hitting into huge green complexes without much nuance, so chipping and putting are not considered to be very heavily weighted stats this week. To wrap it in a bow, course history and recent form are very correlative here at the 3M Open.
Metrics My Weighted Statistical Model Focused on This Week:
- Good Drives Gained/Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Proximity on Approach/Strokes Gained: On Approach
- Birdie-or-Better Percentage
- Bogey Avoidance
- Driving Distance
Winning at PGA DFS carries plenty of caveats. Naturally, you want all six golfers on your roster to make the 36-hole cut (top 60 and ties after round two). After that, scoring is about making birdies and avoiding bogeys (or worse). Bonus points are awarded for higher standings and birdie streaks of three consecutive holes.
You’ll hear me say the word “leverage” a lot when speaking about PGA DFS. Leverage is about positioning. It isn’t so much who you play but rather who you don’t. It’s risky to roster a golfer who is also rostered heavily by opposing lineups. There’s almost no reward when that player succeeds, par at best, to use a golf analogy. To make money playing DFS, it requires taking chances and making birdies when others are settling for par.
A popular player is deemed “chalky.” Good chalk is a popular player who is nearly certain to succeed. Bad chalk is a risky player that too many people have hitched their wagons to. A profitable DFS lineup will have a nice blend of good chalk and successful leverage. A leverage play is a good play that isn’t rostered by many… “lifting” it above the field.
Here’s how I’m attacking PGA DFS for the 3M Open.
PGA DFS: 3M Open 2023 Picks
(Prices courtesy of DraftKings)
High-Priced ($9,000 & Higher)
Good Chalk: Cameron Young, Ludvig Aberg, Emiliano Grillo
Bad Chalk: Tony Finau, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, Stephan Jaeger
Leverage: Sepp Straka, Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas
Mid-Priced ($7,600 – $8,900)
Good Chalk: Adam Hadwin, Nicolai Hojgaard, Lucas Glover, Eric Cole
Bad Chalk: Sahith Theegala, JT Poston, Aaron Rai
Leverage: Patrick Rodgers, Alex Noren, Vincent Norrman, Mark Hubbard, Cameron Champ
Value-Priced ($7,500 & Lower)
Good Chalk: Peter Kuest, Chez Reavie, Kevin Yu
Bad Chalk: Austin Eckroat, Tom Hoge, Doug Ghim, Taylor Montgomery
Leverage: Adam Svensson, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Brandon Wu, Dylan Wu, Carson Young, Cody Gribble