3M Open First-Round Leader Pick: Can Sepp Straka Start Fast?

The PGA Tour returns stateside, and 156 players will tee off Thursday at TPC Twin Cities. Trent Pruitt breaks down the first-round odds and locks in his pick for who will lead after the first 18 holes.

Sepp Straka lines up a putt on the 18th hole at the Open Championship.
(Image credit: Getty images)

It was an exciting mini-swing to the United Kingdom for the Scottish and British Opens. The PGA Tour returns stateside, and the next stop is Blaine, Minnesota, for the 3M Open. This is the fifth year of the event; however, TPC Twin Cities has been a mainstay on the schedule since 2001. 

Some of the bigger names on the tour are taking the week off, but we still have a respectable field featuring 11 of the world’s top 50 golfers. Some of the notable headliners include defending champion Tony Finau (No. 19), Cameron Young (No. 15), and Justin Thomas (No. 24). 

Young actually enters Thursday’s action as the betting favorite to lead after the first 18 holes (+3000). Following the American is a foursome of players at +3500, including Finau, Sungjae Im, Sepp Straka, and Hideki Matsuyama. Let’s dive into who I’m rolling with to get out to an early lead on Thursday. 

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2023 3M Open First-Round Leader Pick

End of Round 1 Leader: Sepp Straka (+4000) (Bet $100 to collect $4,100) FanDuel has the best Sepp Straka odds

Sepp Straka is on a tear right now, and I’m going to lock him in while he’s a hot betting option. The Austrian won the John Deere Classic in early July, and his encore to that was a T2 performance at last weekend’s Open Championship. Heck, if you take away Brian Harman’s Herculean effort at Royal Liverpool, Straka would’ve had a shot to secure his first major victory. 

On top of his great form, the 30-year-old has a history at TPC Twin Cities. He didn’t play the event last year, but his three prior finishes were (from most recently to 2019): MC, T18, MC. Perhaps that’s unsettling, but I think we’ll see a better finish solely based on how well he’s playing right now. Finally, from a statistical standpoint, he’s ranked 20th in driving accuracy at 65.2% this year. That should come in handy, considering the lengthy course and narrower fairways. Let’s take a shot with Straka to lead after the first 18 holes. 

2023 3M Open First-Round Leader Odds

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Cameron Young+3000
Tony Finau+3500
Sungjae Im+3500
Sepp Straka+3500
Hideki Matsuyama+3500
Ludvig Aberg+4000
Justin Thomas+4000
Cam Davis+4500
Emiliano Grillo+4500
Gary Woodland+5000
Trent Pruitt

Trent is a Chicago native who has been an avid sports fan ever since he could walk. He  played collegiate rugby at Arizona State University and still resides in Arizona, where he spends his days engulfed in sports betting analysis. Trent fell in love with the analytical side of sports in his late teens and has been a part of the sports betting industry for 10+ years now.