Quick look at the 3M Open
July 22, 2020
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- A look at the 18th green at TPC Twin Cities. (Courtesy of TPC Twin Cities)
Minnesota is ready for just the second installment of the 3M Open which kicked off last season in fantastic fashion. The emergence of Matthew Wolff and his huge eagle to finish off victory will forever be folklore at TPC Twin Cities.
Now, with the FedExCup Playoffs fast approaching, the 3M Open takes on huge significance in this shortened season. Can Brooks Koepka make his mark? Is Tommy Fleetwood set to shock on his return? And can the Wolff bite again? Or will a new star step up and steal the limelight?
THREE PLAYERS TO PONDER
The 596-yard par-5 18th finishing hole at TPC Twin Cities is built for drama. Last season, Wolff needed a birdie to enter a playoff with Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa… so he made eagle and won outright instead. But while eagle is absolutely on the table, so too is a big number. Avoid the water on the right and find the fairway off the tee and it’s a green light to go for the green. But to do so you must fire right over a lake. Final round pin has water short and bunker long… you better be ready.
The 502-yard par-4 ninth hole at TPC Twin Cities turned out to be quite the brute to finish the front side last season as the tournament made its TOUR debut. It played to a 4.279 average despite Dylan Frittelli’s incredible hole-out eagle in the third round. That made it the 25th hardest hole on TOUR. There were 116 bogeys, 26 double bogeys and five others on the hole that added just 51 birdies to Frittelli’s 195-yard hole out. Here’s a look at where tee shots landed last season. Hitting the fairway doesn’t guarantee anything…
From PGA TOUR meteorologist Joe Halvorson: “Dry conditions are likely to continue Thursday as surface high pressure begins to shift east while a warm front lifts into southwestern Minnesota. A complex of showers and thunderstorms is expected to be ongoing across northern Minnesota Friday morning, with precipitation chances remaining isolated around TPC Twin Cities as a warm front lifts through the area. As heat and humidity continues to build on Saturday, an upper-level disturbance is expected to push across the Northern Plains – likely setting off a complex of showers and thunderstorms. The precise timing and placement of Saturday’s shower and thunderstorm potential remains uncertain. A cold front is expected to bring another round of showers and thunderstorms at some point on Sunday, however, there remains large discrepancies in the forecast guidance for the timing of this boundary. Heat indices will be in the upper 90s to near 100F Friday through Sunday.”
For the latest weather news from TPC Twin Cities, check out PGATOUR.COM’s Weather Hub.
SOUND CHECKI don't need to keep up with anybody, I'm good.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 – Pat Perez is one of eight players with a current streak of at least nine consecutive rounds par or better. Perez is 19-under par in his last nine PGA TOUR rounds.
11 – Number of PGA TOUR winners from Minnesota. They have accounted for 30 wins with Lee Janzen’s eight being the best of the group. Tom Lehman (five) and Tim Herron (4) could add to their numbers this week.
22.3 – The average age of the top-three finishers at the 2019 3M Open. It was the lowest of any PGA TOUR event in the last 37 years.
24 – Number of top-eight finishes in the last four seasons for Tony Finau, the most of any player without a PGA TOUR win in that span.
196 – Number of career eagles from Charles Howell III on the PGA TOUR. In the last 40 years, only five players have made over 200 eagles in their PGA TOUR careers. Howell made three eagles last year at the 2019 3M Open, marking his fourth career PGA TOUR event to make three eagles.
260 – Number of balls hit in the water during last season's 3M Open. It was the third most of any course on the PGA TOUR.
Five-time PGA TOUR winner and 1996 Open Championship winner Tom Lehman is in the field via a sponsor invite. A local from Austin, Minnesota who played collegiately at the University of Minnesota, Lehman plays on PGA TOUR Champions these days where he has 12 wins. He is the only player in history to be named Player of the Year on the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Champions. Lehman consulted on course renovations at TPC Twin Cities where he played the 3M Championship (PGA TOUR Champions) eight times with a T2 in 2011 his best result.
FedExCup fight: With just five events and four weeks remaining before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, a handful of stars need strong finishes to improve or secure their positions in the FedExCup standings. Brooks Koepka, who has finished among the top 10 in the standings the last three years and won the inaugural Wyndham Rewards Top 10 last year, is 154th in the FedExCup. England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in his first start since the Return to Golf, sits 81st in the FedExCup standings. Dustin Johnson – winner of the Travelers Championship in June – is 25th the FedExCup standings as he looks to extend his streak qualifying for the TOUR Championship to 12 years.
Local imports: England’s Angus Flanagan, who recently was named a third-team All-American after his junior season at the University of Minnesota, makes his PGA TOUR debut. He recently shot a course-record 64 at Royal Golf Club to win the Minnesota State Open and he won the Big Ten individual title his sophomore year. South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen, who played his collegiate golf for the Gophers between 2009-13, is ranked No. 42 in the Official World Golf Ranking as a member of the European Tour.
The Power of Community: The tournament’s 2020 charitable giving efforts will be directed largely toward local nonprofit organizations which are focused on supporting individuals impacted by COVID-19 and for social justice initiatives. Funds will be donated to: Urban Ventures, Lake Street Council, YWCA of St. Paul, YWCA of Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, VEAP, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and Science Museum of Minnesota.
Frontline workers recognition: At the driving range, there will be a wall with 156 Extreme Post-in Notes where the field will be encouraged to write thank you notes to frontline workers. Players can sign to whomever they like or keep their messages generic. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson will sign one Post-it each for two specific healthcare workers from Masonic Children’s Hospital, one of the 3M Open’s primary beneficiaries.
Course Changes: In preparation for the event, the first tee complex was relocated approximately 20 yards left, a walk bridge was installed in front of the second green, bunker modifications were completed on holes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, and 18, and fairways were narrowed on hole 6, 7, 10, 14, and 18.