3M Championship: First-round notebook

July 10, 2009
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

BLAINE, Minn. -- Andy Bean and Nick Price opened with 7-under 65s on Friday and the pair holds a one-stroke lead over Gene Jones. This marks the first time this year that Bean or Price has led or shared the first-round lead.


• The only first-round leaders/co-leaders who have gone on to win in the previous 16 3M Championships were Hale Irwin (1999), Ed Dougherty (2000) and Tom Purtzer (2005). Irwin and Purtzer held sole possession of the lead.

• Bean and Price's 7-under-par 65s were their best opening rounds of the 2009 campaign. Bean's round included a 5-under-par effort on the front nine, while Price finished 6 under on the back nine.

Gene Jones, who finished fourth here a year ago, posted another solid opening-round score for the second year in succession. After an 8-under-par 64 a year ago, Jones shot a 6-under 66 on Friday. His round included nine birdies, the best of any of the 79 players in the field.

• A disastrous final hole proved Ben Crenshaw's undoing. Crenshaw was in sole possession of the lead at 7 under playing the final hole when he hit two balls into the water and ended up with a triple bogey eight to slip back into a tie for eighth place. Crenshaw still finished the day with the fewest putts by any player -- 23.

• A total of 45 players finished with rounds under par with 15 of those in the 60s. The field averaged 71.506. As a point of comparison, the opening-round average was 69.949 in 2008 with 54 sub-par rounds and 39 in the 60s.

Bernhard Langer, Ronnie Black, Nick Price, Mike McCullough and Fulton Allem all posted bogey-free rounds. McCullough's card included 17 pars.

• Defending champion R.W. Eaks fired a 2-under-par 70 and is T16.

Ronnie Black had the day's lone eagle.

Dan Forsman made birdies on all four par-5 holes.

• For the sixth straight year, the Greats of Golf Challenge will be part of the 3M Championship schedule on the weekend. This year's two-man team, 36-hole, and better-ball exhibition will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Players competing in this year's event include World Golf Hall of Famers Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Gene Littler and Tony Jacklin, as well as 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody, "Mr. 59" Al Geiberger and Don January.

• Current Charles Schwab Cup point leader and money leader Bernhard Langer is currently T4 after a 5-under-par 67. Langer recently finished T9 at the BMW International Open in Munich.