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Report: Rory McIlroy to have PIP bonus SLASHED for skipping second designated event

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According to Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated, Rory McIlroy will lose $3 million of his 2022 PIP bonus money ($12 million) for skipping this week’s RBC Heritage.

Earlier this year, it was reported that players were on able to skip one of the “designated” events per year. The designated events were used in part to combat LIV Golf and offer massive financial incentives to the tune of $20 million prize pool to the Tour’s top players.

McIlroy already opted out of the designated Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of the season, so his withdrawal this week at Harbour Town was costly.

It was a curious decision for the four-time major champion to skip the event. McIlroy and Tiger Woods have had a great deal of influence of the schedule changes made on the PGA Tour, so the fact that he’s already skipped two of the designated events has raised some eyebrows.

According to Harig, players have received a portion of the 2022 PIP bonus money, with more following after certain criteria are met.

“Players were paid 25 percent of the bonus in January, with the rest to come upon completion of the criteria at the end of this year. Included in the criteria were stipulations that required playing in all of the events (with one opt-out); adding three other events to the schedule, one of which is in collaboration with the Tour; and agreeing to a Tour-related function such as a clinic, meet and greet, reception, etc.”

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Popular former champ reveals why the 2025 Open Championship may be his last

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The Open Championship did not disappoint, as both Royal Troon and Xander Schauffele starred in the 152nd edition of the event, with the now two-time major champion pulling away on the back nine.

The Open is a tournament that hosts so many legends of the game, including past champions such as Darren Clarke. After the tournament, Clarke told the Belfast Telegraph that next year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush may be his last.

“Yes, I made the cut here [at Royal Troon], and if I make the cut in Portrush, it will be great and all that sort of stuff, but I’ve got my name on the Jug, and I have my name on the Senior Jug, and I would feel bad taking the spot away from a young kid.

“I was a young kid once, so to take a spot away from a young kid who may fulfil his dream of playing the Championship, sure, I’ve done mine. I don’t know what I will do.”

Clarke fared well at Royal Troon, making the cut and finishing in a tie for 75th.

The Irishman is 55 years of age and is exempt in The Open until age 60 as a result of his 2011 win at Royal St. George’s.

“Royal Portrush, as we all know, is very special,” he added. “The guys all loved it the last time we were there.

“But I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot. I’m 55 now, and I’ll be 56 next year for the Open at Portrush and it may be my last one and thank you very much, that’s enough for me and I can give some young kid an opportunity that I had whenever I was starting off.

“We’ll see, but I am certainly looking forward to being back in Portrush.”

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Billy Horschel hits back at critic over ‘fake and inauthentic’ claim

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Billy Horschel took his first ever 54-hole lead at a major into the final round of The Open Championship. Despite playing fairly well, Billy wasn’t able to get it done as Xander Schauffele put forth an incredible back-nine to secure his second major championship of the season.

After the round was over, an X user called “Pro Golf Critic” posted about Horschel, calling him “fake and inauthentic”.

Horschel then replied to the tweet.

“I haven’t replied to any one your tweets about me over the past year because I felt no need to. But I am now. Feel free to ask around about me. One thing I willing to bet you won’t hear is that I’m fake or not authentic.”

The user then asked Horschel to meet him at this week’s LIV event, but the 37-year-old declined as he is playing in this week’s 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.

Horschel will look to build off of the best major performance of his career going forward.

While you’re here, check out BK’s look at the newest WedgeWorks offering from Vokey. 

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Vincenzi’s 2024 3M Open betting preview: Top amateur ready to rule at TPC Twin Cities

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The golf world was treated to an exciting major championship as Xander Schauffele won the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon, his second major of the season. This week, the PGA TOUR heads to TPC Twin Cities to play the 3M Open for the 6th consecutive year.

An Arnold Palmer design, TPC Twin Cities is a 7,431-yard par 71. The course is extremely flat throughout and features Bentgrass greens. The fairways are easier to hit than Tour average, but 13 of the 18 holes do have water hazards in play.

The 3M Open will play host to 156 golfers this week with the top 65 players and ties making the weekend. Some notable golfers making the trip to Minnesota include future stars Michael Thorbjornsen, Neil Shipley, Nick Dunlap and Luke Clanton, as well as veterans such as Keegan Bradley, Lucas Glover, Billy Horschel and Justin Rose. 

Past Winners at 3M Open

  • 2023: Lee Hodges (-24)
  • 2022: Tony Finau (-17)
  • 2021: Cameron Champ (-15)
  • 2020: Michael Thompson (-19)
  • 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For TPC Twin Cities

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for TPC Twin Cities to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

Strokes Gained: Off The Tee

In 2019, we saw two of the longest drivers in the game in Matthew Wolff and Bryson DeChambeau go at it down the stretch at TPC Twin Cities, showing that distance is a major factor. In 2021, one of the longest hitters in the game, Cameron Champ, hoisted the trophy, followed by Tony Finau in 2022. With plenty of hazards in play, a total off the tee game will be paramount.

SG: OTT Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Luke Clanton (+1.18)
  2. Kevin Dougherty (+1.05)
  3. Patrick Fishburn (+0.95)
  4. Keith Mitchell (+0.86)
  5. Jhonnatan Vegas (+0.83)

Strokes Gained: Approach

With the course being relatively easy around the greens, TPC Twin Cities is a course where supreme ball striking has been rewarded. 

Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Tony Finau (+0.98)
  2. Doug Ghim (+0.84)
  3. Keith Mitchell (+0.80)
  4. Chan Kim (+0.76)
  5. Luke Clanton (+0.72)

Birdie or Better Percentage

The green in regulation percentage at TPC Twin Cities is a good deal higher than Tour average. Making pars isn’t going to be enough to get it done at the 3M Open. I expect ball strikers and birdie makers to hold a large share of the win equity this week.

Birdie or Better: Gained Past 24 rounds:

  1. Luke Clanton (28.1%) 
  2. Chan Kim (27.1%)
  3. Maverick McNealy (26.6%)
  4. Patton Kizzire (26.4%)
  5. Pierceson Coody (25.7%)

Strokes Gained: Total (Midwest)

There’s been plenty of crossover between the 3M Open and events like the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Players tend to be successful consistently throughout the region. 

Strokes Gained: Total (Midwest) Over Past 36 Rounds (minimum 8 rounds):

  1. Luke Clanton (+2.88)
  2. Hayden Springer (+2.51)
  3. Richard Hoey (+1.88) 
  4. Tony Finau (+1.78)
  5. J.T. Poston (+1.64)

Course History

This statistic will incorporate players who have had success at TPC Twin Cities. 

Course History Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Lee Hodges (+3.26)
  2. Tony Finau (+2.39)
  3. Callum Tarren (+2.26) 
  4. Emiliano Grillo (+2.09)
  5. Kevin Streelman (+2.07)

The 3M Open Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: OTT (27%), SG: Approach (27%), Birdie or Better (20%), Course History (13%), and SG: Midwest (13%)

  1. Keith Mitchell
  2. Luke Clanton 
  3. Tony Finau
  4. Doug Ghim
  5. Kevin Yu
  6. Tom Hoge
  7. Chan Kim
  8. Maverick McNealy
  9. Jhonnatan Vegas
  10. Nick Hardy

2024 3M Open Picks

Luke Clanton +2500 (DraftKings)

Luke Clanton is not your typical amateur. The 20-year-old comes into this week’s 3M Open as one of the field’s best ball strikers in the field despite his inexperience.

Over the past 24 rounds, Clanton ranks 2nd in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 13th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 1st in Birdie or Better percentage. He also ranks 1st in the field in his last 12 rounds on “Driver Heavy” courses.

The Florida State University product became the first amateur to record back-to-back top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 66 years after finishing 10th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T2 at the John Deere Classic. Thanks to those performances, Clanton ranks 4th in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in the Midwest.

In 2019 we saw Matthew Wolff win the 3M Open as a 20-year-old in just his third professional start. Like Clanton, Wolff burst onto the scene with an incredibly potent driver and ability to make birdies. Clanton is as talented a prospect as Wolff, and this is a course that clearly doesn’t require any really course knowledge to be successful at.

In 2024, the game of golf is in a place where speed is king, and Clanton has plenty of it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him spike a win early in his career to jumpstart his trajectory into one of the better young players in the world.

Akshay Bhatia +2800 (DraftKings)

I was a little surprised to see Akshay Bhatia on the odds board at 28-1. While Finau should be the clear favorite, I’d make the argument that Bhatia is the next best player in the field.

Akshay missed the cut at The Open, but in a windy Open Championship debut, I feel fine with giving him a pass. Prior to The Open, Bhatia has shown the golf world why he was such a tantalizing prospect as a teenager. After winning the Valero Texas Open earlier this season, he picked up the form again recently, finishing T5 at the Travelers Championship and runner-up at the Rocket Mortgage Classis which has ties to this event.

Over his past 24 rounds, Bhatia ranks 7th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. He also ranks 10th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green on “driver heavy” courses. The 22-year-old is incredibly accurate off the tee, which will come into play with so many water hazards in play at TPC Twin Cities.

I truly believe the sky is the limit for Bhatia and think he can get another win under his belt at this week’s 3M Open.

Adam Hadwin +5000 (DraftKings)

Adam Hadwin has been excellent in the Midwest and on Bentgrass. He recently finished 3rd at The Memorial Tournament and has a strong history at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which has proven to hold a strong link to the 3M Open.

In 2023, Hadwin narrowly lost at Detroit Golf Club in a playoff to Rickie Fowler. He also has a T4 at the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic. In addition to the form at the Rocket, the Canadian has also played quite well at TPC Twin Cities. He boasts finishes of T6 in 2021 and 4th in 2019.

In his past 24 rounds, Hadwin ranks 27th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 7th in Course History. Although the approach numbers don’t jump off the page, they are solid compared to what the 36-year-old has done historically. Hadwin is a great putter on Bentgrass greens and will need to hole plenty of putts this week.

Hadwin hasn’t won since 2014 but has turned into a very steady and reliable player on Tour. In a weak field, I believe he can get back in the winner’s circle after a decade-long drought.

Emiliano Grillo +5500 (DraftKings)

Emiliano Grillo is heading from Royal Troon to TPC Twin Cities this week and should be feeling relatively satisfied with how he played at The Open Championship. The Argentine finished T43 but had a solid week with his irons, ranking 28th in the field on approach. He will now head to an event that he’s had a great deal of success at with some positivity to build off of.

In his last four trips to the course, Grillo has three top 10 finishes including a T2 in 2022 and a T3 in 2020. His accuracy off the tee and ability to be the best iron player in the field makes him an ideal fit for TPC Twin Cities. The 31-year-old ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Total at the course and 14th in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in the Midwest.

In 2022, Grillo missed the cut at The Open and went on to finish T2 the following week at the 3M Open. This week, he should be heading into the week with plenty of confidence. While his issue is typically the putter, Grillo has gained strokes putting in three of his four trips to TPC Twins Cities.

If he can get the putter to cooperate, Grillo can win this event with his iron play.

Jake Knapp +8000 (DraftKings)

Similarly to when I picked Cameron Champ to win the 2021 3M Open at 125-1, this is a high ceiling, winning upside play at a pretty deep spot on the odds board. Knapp finished strong last week at the Barracuda, shooting a 64 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 24th place.

Knapp has been extremely inconsistent but has shown that he has what it takes to win a golf tournament if he gets himself into contention. He has an elite ability to drive the golf ball and TPC Twin Cities is one of the courses on Tour that should allow him to go full throttle on the vast majority of holes. Knapp ranks 15th in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee.

There certainly seems to be a leaderboard correlation with players who’ve done well at both the 3M Open and Mexico Open. Players like Tony Finau, Cameron Champ and Emiliano Grillo have shined at both spots.

I’m not incredibly high on Knapp as a player, but I do believe there are certain spots where he carries win equity, and this is one of those spots.

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