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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

2022 3M Open leaderboard: Scott Piercy extends lead at TPC Twin Cities after Round 3 delayed by severe weather

Afternoon thunderstorms caused the start of the third round of the 2022 3M Open to be moved up, and with it came ideal scoring conditions for competitors. Without a breath of wind to speak of, accessible pin locations and a shortened scorecard yardage, numerous players took advantage of Moving Day at TPC Twin Cities. Unfortunately for the field, this included Scott Piercy, who commanded a three-stroke lead to begin the third round and stretched it to four after a round of 5-under 66. 

The 43-year-old made par on his first two holes and then rattled off five consecutive birdies to reach 18 under, extending his lead to four strokes over Emiliano Grillo. Clearly in the midst of one of those weeks during which everything that can go right, does go right, the only thing that was able to stop Piercy was Mother Nature and a blister on the bottom of his foot.

The predicted thunderstorms came a bit earlier than imagined, and all players were pulled from the golf course as the final group was stepping foot onto the eighth hole. After six hours and 38 minutes, play finally resumed. 

At one point reaching 19 under, a bogey on the last dropped Piercy back to 18 under, where he began the resumption of play. While he has seen his lead grow over Grillo, there are many worthy contenders still in the fight, including the pre-tournament favorite Tony Finau just five strokes back.

The leader

1. Scott Piercy (-18): The man who led after Thursday and Friday will lead after Saturday as well with a third round 5-under 66. To say this performance has come out of nowhere would be an understatement, as Piercy entered the 3M Open with only two top-20 finishes on the season and having missed four of his last six cuts. 

Beginning the week outside the top 125 of the FedEx Cup Standings, Piercy will catapult himself inside the top 50 if he is able to hold on. It has been seven years since his last individual victory and nerves may have crept in during his 18th hole on Saturday as he dumped his approach into the water, ultimately leading to bogey. If those persist tomorrow, this tournament will turn into a completely different game.

Other contenders

2. Emiliano Grillo (-14)

T3. Doug Ghim and Tony Finau (-13)

5. Tom Hoge (-12)

T6. Sungjae Im and Greyson Sigg (-11)

Piercy’s lead appears to be insurmountable, and while conventional wisdom suggests Grillo is the candidate to chase him down, Finau may be the wiser choice. Possessing plenty of firepower in his own right, the two-time winner on the PGA Tour has been incredible from tee to green over the first three days at TPC Twin Cities. Unfortunately, Finau has been unable to match this excellence on the greens. If he does so tomorrow, he should have a realistic opportunity to give Piercy a scare.

FedEx Cup implications to keep an eye on

It feels like just yesterday that the PGA Tour was in Hawaii to kick off the 2021-22 season. In a blink of an eye, there are only two tournaments left after the completion of the 3M Open. Encapsulating the importance of a late season charge, Piercy is projected to move from 138th in the season-long race to 46th with a victory. 

While Piercy may move himself into the second playoff event, others are hoping just to make it to the first. Chesson Hadley – last year’s 125th-ranked player – is set to make a similar move from 143rd to 127th, while former world No. 1 Jason Day is expected to drop a few spots to No. 125. Other players to keep in mind in this context when watching the final round include Patton Kizzire, Tyler Duncan and Matthias Schwab, as they are just inside the postseason bubble.

2022 3M Open updated odds and picks

  • Scott Piercy: 5/7
  • Tony Finau: 9/2
  • Emiliano Grillo: 5-1
  • Doug Ghim: 9-1
  • Tom Hoge: 18-1
  • Sungjae Im: 22-1
  • Greyson Sigg: 40-1

There are not a ton of players listed below 100-1 since Piercy will be difficult to catch. However, the door did creep open on the 18th hole of his third round when he made bogey on the gettable par 5, launching some of his competitors back into contention. If Piercy does not get the job done, expect Finau to do it. Despite holding this sentiment, it is a no-bet at the current number, as four strokes over the course of 18 holes is a lot of ground to make up. As such, targeting Finau in a three-ball and letting the tournament play out may be the sound decision.

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