The favorites

Bernhard Langer

 

Why he’ll win: Two-time champion (2009, ’12) thrives on this course. Third in Schwab Cup standings, Langer has the most to gain with the top two Champions Tour players (Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Maggert) not in the field.

 

Why he won’t: Fatigue. Langer played in the British Open and Senior British Open in back-to-back weeks six time zones away before coming to the 3M.

Kenny Perry

 

Why he’ll win: The defending champion is rested. Perry has been idle since July 12, and he figures to use that extra energy to improve on a Champions Tour-best driving average of 298.8 yards.

 

Why he won’t: No player in the event’s 22-year history has successfully defended the championship. Tom Kite came the closest when he finished fifth in 2004.

Marco Dawson

 

Why he’ll win: Momentum. Dawson won the Senior British Open last week, his second victory. In 12 events this season he’s earned more money than he did in any one full season on the PGA Tour.

 

Why he won’t: Putting. By his own admission putts aren’t falling the way he wouldd like. That’s not a good sign at this course.

The dark horses

Jeff Sluman

 

Why he’ll win: He has four top-10 finishes in seven career appearances in Blaine. Sluman shot an 8-under 28 on the front nine on the final round in 2013.

 

Why he won’t: His scoring average of 70.89 ranks 25th on the Champions Tour.

Kevin Sutherland

 

Why he’ll win: He can go low. Shot a 59 on the Champions Tour last August. In his 3M debut last year, he shot back-to-back 67s (5 under) on the weekend including a pair of eagles in Round 2.

 

Why he won’t: Lack of consistency. It will likely take three straight rounds in the low 60s to win this event.

John Cook

 

Why he’ll win: He has 10 Champions Tour wins and plays well in this part of the country. In events in Iowa and Illinois this season he’s never shot above a 70.

 

Why he won’t: Can he close? He has lost in six playoffs since 2008.

 

BRIAN STENSAAS