Week 14 Power Rankings: 3M Championship

July 06, 2009
Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.


This week's 3M Championship marks the beginning of a key stretch in the Champions Tour schedule.

The next three events are majors: The Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale Old Course in England, July 23-26; the U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., July 30-Aug. 2; and the JELD-WEN Tradition at Crosswater Club at Sunriver, Ore., Aug. 20-23.

The total purse for those three Champions Tour majors is $7.3 million.

But first things first and that means the 3M Championship, where the question is: Will be there another runaway winner at the TPC Twin Cities?

Power Rankings: 3M Championship
Rank Player   Comment
He's back after playing the European Tour's BMW International Open in his native Germany against the kids. And, oh, by the way, he tied for ninth there with a 15-under-par total. Langer tied for second last year at the 3M Championship with rounds of 67-66-66.
He admits he's at his best when his confidence is at its peak. Nielsen is coming off an impressive win and has played well at the 3M Championship, opening with 68-66 before a final-round 72 dropped him into a T15 last year. He also tied for second in 2005.
His performance chart makes him an obvious contender with four straight top 7s, including a runner-up finish and a playoff loss. It looked like Funk was poised for the first win of '09 when he opened 64-65 at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open before Nielsen reeled him in.
He's always near the lead, but so far Mr. Consistency hasn't won in 2009. That is likely to change soon. Haas has a T7 and a T5 in his last two starts, and six top-9 finishes this year. Finished second at the 3M Championship behind D.A. Weibring in 2007.
Jones has four top-5 finishes this year, including a pair in the last five starts. A year ago, he posted a solid fourth-place finish at the TPC Twin Cities with rounds of 64-67-69. Jones is ninth in scoring average (70.09/33 rounds) and 10th on the money list.

R.W. Eaks dominated to take the title last year, winning by 6 shots over Bernhard Langer and Gary Hallberg. Eaks' 54-hole total 193 was the best score in the tournament's 16-year history.