We head into Sunday’s final round of the 3M Open with two relatively unknown names, Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski, leading the field. They have one PGA Tour win between them, and that was Thompson’s victory at the Honda Classic back in 2013. Tony Finau and Charl Schwartzel are tied for third two shots back, with Max Homa one behind them in solo fifth.
DraftKings has a big $20 entry $400,000 Prize Pool with $100,000 to first-place for the Sunday Showdown, and that main GPP tournament will be our focus in this article.
You’ll want to be sure you understand the scoring as this slate is different from other Showdown tournaments: Finish positioning will count, and while it will be a factor, it is often where you can begin to gain your edge when building lineups.
DraftKings posted the pricing for this slate early on Saturday morning, so there will be a lot of obvious high-owned chalk as players shot up the leaderboard on moving day. Every week we see many people build the current optimal lineup, allowing them to start the slate in first place usually along with hundreds of others who played that same lineup. The issue with this strategy is not only that you are duplicating a lineup with so many other players, but as we saw on Saturday, this is a course where players will go low. Cameron Tringale moved up 32 spots into the top-six with his 8-under 63 in Round 3, and those are the types of rounds that can win you a Sunday Showdown Slate.
I’ll be taking a stand between the leaders, certainly fading one of Thompson or Werenski — possibly both — with the hopes that they have lower-scoring rounds and get caught from behind. Thompson will likely be the chalkiest player on the slate at $8,500 — $1,000 less than Richy Werenski at $9,500.
Tony Finau will also be very popular as the biggest name on the leaderboard, just two shots back, and leading the field Tee-to-Green this week. He will be someone that’s hard to fade, but doing so will definitely set you apart from the others. I won’t write him up below, but he is someone I will be playing and looking to be overweight on as I think he wins and I can find ways to be different elsewhere.
Now for the players I’m targeting
The following core of four players will give you a lot of options near the top to fit Finau — or even both of the leaders, should you choose, while also differentiating your lineup from an ownership standpoint.
As you begin building for Sunday, keep in mind that there are a number of players further down the board who will go overlooked because of the place position next to the names of others around them. The course will give up plenty of birdies to make up those placement position points in droves.
Ryan Moore $9,700
Ryan Moore has been solid all week ranking third Tee-to-Green and third on approach this week. He’s four shots back in sixth-place, as we head into Sunday despite losing a full stroke with the putter over the first three rounds including losing 2.62 strokes putting on Saturday. I like Moore to go a touch overlooked at his price tag, where he is priced just above the leader Richy Werenski, and with a solid final round he can find himself in contention on the back 9 tomorrow.
He’s the type of player I love for Showdown — he can score in bunches when he is on, and if the flat stick catches fire tomorrow, look for him to be in contention on the back 9 and a part of the optimal lineup.
Bernd Wiesberger $7,400
Bernd started his week slow on Thursday, posting a 2-over, 73, and needing a low number on Friday just to make the cut. Since then, he’s posted back-to-back 5-under 65s to climb into a tie for 25th. It was a shock to me to find at the start of the week that he is the 29th-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings, boosted by three European Tour wins in 2019.
The 3M Open is his second event since the break, and he seems to have shaken off the rust over the last 36 holes. The victories I alluded to previously in 2019 were all similar to the 3M in that they were birdie fests, and in one — the Scottish Open — he shot 61.
He’s putted well this week, and will need to continue that on Sunday, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better mid-tier value that can score like this Austrian.
Brice Garnett $7,000
Garnett has been solid lately Tee-to-Green and has carried that well into this week, gaining 1.23 strokes Off-the-Tee and 5.24 strokes on approach. He’s lost his strokes on the greens this week, limiting him to his current 25th position, but has proven to play well in final rounds. He ranks fourth on tour in final-round scoring average for the season and will be overlooked on Sunday’s slate with so many other options around him.
Austin Cook $7,200
Cook has played well this week, finally finding some of the form he flashed at times on tour the past couple of years. He’s gained more than two strokes on approach in each of the first three rounds, gaining 7.09 on approach total for the tournament thus far. I love the ball striking numbers he is showing, and he too just needs to find his putter to charge his way up the leaderboard from his current 25th position.
Cook has always been a scorer when he is in form, and with the ball striking where it is this week, I like him to be able to turn these strong approaches into more birdies on Sunday.