The First Look: 3M Open
June 28, 2019
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- June 28, 2019
Inside the PGA TOUR
Three TOUR stops in the Midwest
Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson headline the field as Minnesota celebrates its first regular PGA TOUR event in a half-century, enjoying elevated status for what previously was one of the most popular stops on the PGA TOUR Champions.
Jason Day and Patrick Reed also fill out the roster that features 11 of the top 30 men in the latest FedExCup standings for the inaugural 3M Open, as the TPC Twin Cities unveils a bolder layout in anticipation of testing some of the TOUR’s top talent.
FIELD NOTES: Minnesota natives Tom Lehman – who helped design TPC Twin Cities and oversaw its upgrades – and Tim Herron help commemorate the event’s new chapter by teeing it up via sponsor exemptions. … The projected lineup features 11 of the top 30 men in the latest FedExCup standings. … Koepka, Mickelson, Reed, Ryan Moore and Jimmy Walker give the event five members of the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup winners at nearby Hazeltine. … Viktor Hovland makes his third straight start as a pro since rewriting the U.S. Open’s scoring record for an amateur. Former Oklahoma State teammate Matthew Wolff likewise is making his third pro start, as is former USC standout Justin Suh.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
STORYLINES: After embracing a PGA TOUR Champions event, two major championships and the Ryder Cup in the past 17 years, Minnesota finally has a PGA TOUR event that will put down roots. The 3M Open marks the TOUR’s first regular stop in the state since the Minnesota Golf Classic played its last edition in 1969. Raymond Floyd, Mike Souchak and Frank Beard were among those winners. … Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship and was second in the year’s other two majors, hopes to right the ship in a regular event. His past two non-majors have seen him finish outside the top 40. Koepka did win earlier this season at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES and ranks second in the FedExCup. … A top-7 performance also would lift Koepka past Matt Kuchar into the FedExCup points lead. … The 3M Open is the second event in as many years to receive a PGA TOUR promotion from another circuit. Last year, the Corales Puntacana Championship made the jump from the Korn Ferry Tour.
COURSE: TPC Twin Cities, 7,468 yards, par 71. Recently upgraded in anticipation of the PGA TOUR’s arrival, the longtime Champions venue north of Minneapolis first opened in 2000 and was widely considered one of that circuit’s top layouts. The Arnold Palmer design, with Tom Lehman as a consultant, transformed a former sod farm into a rolling landscape featuring 27 bodies of water, restoring several natural wetlands while framing holes with stands of mature oak and spruce trees. The 3M Championship came to TPC Twin Cities in 2001, enjoying an 18-year run on site. In each of the past seven years, TPC Twin Cities ranked first or second in birdies among 54-hole Champions stops.
54-HOLE RECORD (Champions): 191, David Frost (2010).
18-HOLE RECORD (Champions): 60, Paul Goydos (2nd round, 2017), Kenny Perry (2nd round, 2018).
LAST YEAR: Perry closed the event’s PGA TOUR Champions chapter with his third victory in Minnesota, using a second-round 60 to open a five-shot lead before cruising to a three-shot triumph. A 3-under-par 69 was all Perry needed to finish things off, keeping Wes Short Jr.’s closing 63 at arm’s length. Perry also won at TPC Twin Cities in 2014 and ’15, matching Hale Irwin’s standard of three wins in the Champions event. It also was the seventh time in eight appearances that Perry had finished among the top seven at TPC Twin Cities. “It's going to be so long next year, I probably won't even recognize it when I come back,” he quipped.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (featured groups). Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (featured groups), 3-6 p.m. (featured holes). International subscribers (via GOLF.tv): Thursday-Friday, 12:00 to 22:30 GMT. Saturday-Sunday, 13:30 to 22:00.