World No. 1 Brooks Koepka admitted being worn down after tying for 57th at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago, but now he’s recharged for the 2019 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities as he looks to tune up for golf’s final major later this month. The brand-new tournament starts Thursday from Blaine, Minn. Koepka headlines a 156-player field that also includes Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama. Golf observers are expecting a slew of birdies and eagles at the Arnold Palmer-designed course. In the latest 2019 3M Open odds, Koepka is the 15-2 betting favorite followed by Day (9-1), Matsuyama (10-1), Bryson DeChambeau (14-1), Tony Finau (28-1), Viktor Hovland (28-1) and Reed (28-1). With so much uncertainty surrounding this new event, you’ll want to see the PGA predictions from SportsLine’s legendary golf expert, Sal Johnson, before you make any 2019 3M Open picks.
A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is red-hot this year. He featured Tiger Woods in his best bets for the Masters, and Woods walked away with his fifth green jacket. Then, Johnson promoted Brooks Koepka in his PGA Championship best bets, and Koepka made a mockery of that tournament, building a seven-shot lead entering the weekend and cruising to victory.
Last month at the Travelers Championship, Johnson promoted 50-1 long shot Chez Reavie as a potential winner, citing Reavie’s momentum following his third place finish at the U.S. Open and noting how his game (second in fairway accuracy, eighth in proximity to hole) was a perfect fit for TPC River Highlands. The result: Reavie cruised to a four-stroke victory, finishing 17-under for his first PGA title in 11 years. Anyone who has followed him has reaped huge rewards.
Now, Johnson — the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world’s top golf stats database — has released highly confident 2019 3M Open picks. You can only see his surprising 2019 3M Open predictions at SportsLine.
One shocker: Johnson wants no part of Bryson DeChambeau, the world’s No. 8-ranked player and one of the top Vegas favorites this week at 14-1. In fact, Johnson says DeChambeau doesn’t even crack the top 10.
“He showed signs of life with a tie for eighth at the Travelers, but his big problem is hitting greens,” Johnson told SportsLine. “He ranks 133rd in that category and that could hurt him this week. Compounding that problem is his scrambling, where he ranks 78th. Finally, his putting hasn’t been sharp. He ranks 113th on putts inside 10 feet.”
Johnson also has a strong read on Koepka, who ranks seventh in hitting greens in regulation and eighth in birdie average. Oddly, Koepka tends to struggle in non-majors like the 3M Open. He’s finished 50th or worse in five of his last six non-majors, while finishing tied for second or better in five of his last six majors. So Koepka has something to prove at TPC Twin Cities.
Johnson also has locked in the fate of Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion who’s currently ranked 25th worldwide. “His tie for fifth at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic was a good sign,” Johnson told SportsLine. “His tee to green game has improved — he tied for 13th in greens in regulation last week. But putts inside six feet continue to plague him. He needs to improve drastically with the putter.”
In addition, Johnson is high on an astronomical long shot to win. This completely overlooked player is heating up at just the right time and “there is no more perfect course for him than TPC Twin Cities,” Johnson told SportsLine. Anyone who backs this underdog could hit it big. You can only see his projected 2019 3M Open leaderboard at SportsLine.
So who wins the 3M Open? And which massive long shot stuns the golf world? Check out the 2019 3M Open odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s surprising leaderboard and analysis, all from the golf media legend who was all over Chez Reavie at the Travelers Championship.
Brooks Koepka 15-2
Jason Day 9-1
Hideki Matsuyama 10-1
Bryson DeChambeau 14-1
Tony Finau 28-1
Viktor Hovland 28-1
Patrick Reed 28-1
Charles Howell III 33-1
Joaquin Niemann 33-1
Keegan Bradley 40-1
Kevin Na 40-1
Kevin Streelman 40-1
Sungjae Im 40-1
Rory Sabbatini 45-1
Adam Hadwin 50-1
Phil Mickelson 50-1
Ryan Moore 50-1
Scott Piercy 50-1