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Dustin Johnson is coming back to Blaine this summer.
The 3M Open announced Thursday that Johnson, the 2020 Masters and FedEx Cup champion and currently the No. 2 player in the world, has committed to play at TPC Twin Cities in the July 22-25 tournament.
Johnson played this PGA Tour event last year, as well, withdrawing with a back injury after a first-round 78. It was after that withdrawal that Johnson went on an unprecedented tear in which he did not record a finish outside of the top 12 of any tournament from August 2020 until the last week of February 2021.
Johnson long ago made the decision to forego competing in the Tokyo Olympics, the tournament being played the weekend after the 3M Open.
Johnson joins the likes of Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen, who previously committed to play in the 3M Open. Earlier this week, tournament executive director Hollis Cavner said the plan was to announce one big-name commitment per week leading up to the event.
3M Open tee times, TV info for Thursday's first round
2021 3M Open preview: Minnesota's PGA Tour event is back for Year 3 in Blaine
Minnesota golf fans waited 49 years for the PGA Tour to return, getting their wish with the inaugural 3M Open in 2019. After a one-year fan hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions, spectators are back in Blaine this week. And so is the Tour.
What: The 44th tournament on the PGA Tour's 2020-21 "super schedule" — 50 events in 51 weeks. The slate includes 14 events that were canceled or postponed in 2020. It began with the Safeway Open on Sept. 7, 2020, in Napa, Calif., and concludes with the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs. The Tour Championship will be awarded Sept. 5 in Atlanta.
Where: TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.
Purse: $6.6 million ($1.188 million to the winner).
Winning FedEx Cup points: 500.
Course details: Par 71 played at 7,431 yards.
Cut: Low 65 and ties after 36 holes.
Schedule: Gates open at 6:30 a.m. each day. There are practice rounds and pro-ams Tuesday and Wednesday. The 72-hole tournament begins Thursday morning.
Tickets: Single-day general admission grounds tickets are available for $25 (Tuesday-Wednesday) and $65 (Thursday-Sunday). All kids 15 and under are admitted free. There are also a variety of enhanced premium ticket packages with food, beverage and reserved seating options. All tickets are mobile and must be purchased at 3mopen.com.
Parking: $10 (online prepay) at the National Sports Center.
Broadcast schedule: Golf Channel (1:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; noon-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday) and Ch. 4 (2-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday) will provide live coverage. PGA Tour Live, a pay app available through NBC Sports Gold and Amazon Prime Video ($9.99/month), will have early-morning coverage and featured groups. PGA Tour Radio, available for free on pgatour.com and the PGA Tour mobile app or on Sirius Ch. 208 or XM Ch. 92, will have live play-by-play each afternoon.
Last year: Michael Thompson, then the 218th-ranked player in the world, let a four-shot lead wilt away on Sunday but held off hard-charging Adam Long to win by two strokes at 19 under par. Thompson sank a 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole to seal the victory, and held back tears after accepting the winner's trophy and check, which accounted for nearly 12% of his career earnings.
Players to watch
Despite hosting a stateside event days after the British Open and during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 3M Open pulled together a better field than some might have expected. The 156 players competing include 11 former major champions and 31 players from the British Open field.
Dustin Johnson: The world's No. 1-ranked player is back in Blaine destined for a do-over. Last summer Johnson signed for a first-round 78 and withdrew 30 minutes later citing a back injury. It was a far from memorable tournament debut, but perhaps he found a little something along the way? Johnson tied for 12th the next week at the WGC St. Jude Invitational, then finished no worse than a tie for second the rest of the season in winning the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Louis Oosthuizen: Mr. Consistency is set to make his 3M Open debut fresh off what has been — surprise! — another spectacular showing in a major. Oostuizen began Sunday with a one-shot lead at Royal St. George's. Winner of the 2010 British Open and five times a runner-up in the other three majors, the smooth-swinging South African has made 16 cuts in 17 events on the PGA Tour this season, banking nearly $5 million.
Matthew Wolff: He won the 3M Open as a 20-year-old sponsor exemption fresh out of Oklahoma State in 2019. But it's been a roller coaster since. Wolff was runner-up at the U.S. Open in September and posted another second-place finish at the Shriners Open three weeks later. He didn't post a top-25 finish in the next 10 events (including a DQ at the Masters), and took a two-month break to restore his mental health. Wolff withdrew from the British Open before the start of the tournament.
Rickie Fowler: The last time we saw Fowler in Minnesota, he was the lone single man without a partner to smooch in a 2016 Ryder Cup celebratory photo that went viral. Fowler is now married but looking for a career rebound, eager to find those golfing skills that earned Team USA two points in a dominating victory over Europe at Hazeltine National. Fowler is in the midst of a down season with just one top-10 finish, although it came two months ago at the PGA Championship.
Steve Stricker: Speaking of the Ryder Cup, the 54-year-old Wisconsin native is set to captain the United States this fall at his home-state Whistling Straits. But first, a few more events as a competitor. Stricker has three PGA Tour Champions majors since turning 50 and has remained competitive on the PGA Tour. He has made seven cuts in 10 events this season. At 152nd in the FedEx Cup standings, he is in shouting distance of a spot in the playoffs. Stricker has a positive history at TPC Twin Cities; he finished tied for third (18 under) in his lone 3M Championship appearance in 2017.
John Pak: Last year's winner of the college big three (Haskins Award, Hogan Award, Nicklaus Award) turned in low amateur honors at the U.S. Open in September. He is now a pro and ready to go, but Pak has struggled thus far in his PGA Tour career. At the Barbasol Championship on Friday, he played the final six holes in 3 over and missed the cut by two. He is one of five college stars with sponsor entries into the 3M Open, joining Quade Cummins (Oklahoma), Austin Eckroat (Oklahoma State), Ryan Hall (South Carolina) and Angus Flanagan of the Gophers.
Fargo's Tom Hoge, a former two-time Minnesota State Amateur champion, was the only player with Minnesota ties to make the cut last summer (he finished tied for 46th). He's back, along with former Gophers golfer Erik van Rooyen and Spring Lake Park graduate Troy Merritt. They both missed the cut at the British Open and will aim to improve on last summer's disappointments in Blaine.
Sharing the spotlight
Before the top-tier talent of golf tees off for the tournament, some players with, ahem, slightly lesser abilities will show their stuff. There is a three-hole celebrity challenge Wednesday evening featuring eight participants raising money for Minnesota charities. TNT analyst and noted golf aficionado Charles Barkley will team with NFL star Larry Fitzgerald Jr.; Former Twins batting champion Joe Mauer is with Vikings receiver Adam Thielen; Hollywood star Josh Duhamel is with former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph; and 10-time LPGA major champion Annika Sorenstam is with CBS reporter Amanda Balionis. Additionally, Sorenstam will host a golf clinic for 40 girls age 6-14 on Monday at TPC Twin Cities as part of her "Share My Passion" initiative.
Open 2021 players 3m committed
The third edition if the 3M Open follows the final major of the 2021 season – the British Open. The 2021 edition drew a pretty solid field considering its position on the PGA TOUR schedule, which should create some intriguing values in 2021 3M Open odds.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and No. 13 Louis Oosthuizen will make their way to Minneapolis, and Oosthuizen led each of the first three rounds of The Open Championship.
No. 9 Patrick Reed was a late commitment to the 3M Open after he missed the cut overseas, and No. 14 Tony Finau completes the top-20 players in the field. Finau finished 3rd at last year’s 3M Open without fans in attendance.
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Dustin Johnson was +1100 and the favorite to win last year’s event, and he withdrew after Round 1 with an injury. He is even shorter this year.
Golfers to watch
Doug Ghim (+4800 FanDuel): Ghim ranks highly in this field in birdie average, and the 25-year-old is accurate and strong with his irons ranking top-11 on Tour in greens hit. He also ranks No. 1 in greens in regulation gained and fairways gained over his last 36 rounds. The bookmakers respect his play and potential despite ranking outside the top 200 in the world golf rankings. Over his last 36 rounds, he’s top-6 in approach, ball striking and tee-to-green, but his poor putting and short game is holding back stronger finishes. Over the past year, one of his three best putting rounds came at TPC Twin Cities, and Ghim finished T18 last year at 13-under par. Ghim has shot double-digits under par in his last two events on scoring courses, and a better week of putting puts him in the mix with +500 odds for a top-10 finish also worth a bet.
Charl Schwartzel (+7000 FanDuel): Schwartzel finished T3 in his only 3M appearance last year. Strokes Gained Approach is of greater significance this week per data golf stat profiles, and over his last 24 rounds, the South African ranks top-20 in approach, ball striking, tee-to-green, off-the-tee and total. Going back to May, he had three straight events of at least 4.5 strokes gained on approach, and his par 4 efficiency numbers on holes of 450 yards or less rank among the best in this field at TPC Twin Cities. In last year’s 3M event, Schwartzel’s stats were strong including a better putter as he gained 4-strokes putting and better than 10 strokes total. His pure ball striking and solid tee-to-green game is of more importance with additional water and hazards this week.
Patrick Rodgers (+8000 DraftKings): Rodgers goes out in the first group Thursday morning, and he shot 66 to start last year’s event before a 70, 70 weekend dropped him to T32. A better finish is expected this year, as he comes in with confidence off a T5 finish last week at Barbasol shooting 19-under par. Rogers is a big hitter who has gained strokes off-the-tee in six straight events, and gained more than 6 strokes putting on the field last week and at the U.S. Open. The concern is Rodgers approach stats are his weakest metric over his last 36 rounds, but he has gained on the field in that category in three of his last four events. Rodgers is most comfortable on bentgrass greens, and he should set himself up for more birdie chances this week.
Erik van Rooyen (+13000 DraftKings): Here’s another South African with nearly twice the odds of Schwartzel. And van Rooyen admits he’s played TPC Twin Cities many, many times having played college golf at the University of Minnesota. His stats are not as strong having missed many cuts since May, but he’s still in the top third of the field in a number of strokes gained stats over his last 36 rounds and did finish top-10 at the Palmetto Championship. Counting on a familiar course to ignite better play.
Brice Garnett (+20000 DraftKings): Garnett is a bomb that makes more sense for a top 10 (+1600) or top 20 (+1100) finish. He’s finished top T26 and T23 in the two 3M Open events, and his par 4 efficiency numbers are top-25 across all ranges from 350-500 yards. He also has top 20 stats over the course on approach, ball striking, off-the-tee and tee-to-green (T6). Garnett has had some top finishes on scoring courses, and was T5 at the Travelers the end of June when his putter was red hot gaining better than 13 strokes on the field. Not playing well in July, but this course and event fits as he’s shown in two starts.
TOP PLAYERS IN THE 3M OPEN
- Dustin Johnson (1)
- Patrick Reed (9)
- Louis Oosthuizen (13)
- Tony Finau (17)
- Jason Kokrak (24)
- Matthew Wolff (37)
- Stewart Cink (39)
- Brian Harman (46)
- Sergio Garcia (51)
- Bubba Watson (54)
Also Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Keegan Bradley and recent Rocket Mortgage Classic winner Cam Davis will be firing for more birdies at TPC Twin Cities.
Last year’s top-10 finishers returning in 2021
- Michael Thompson (1)
- Adam Long (2)
- Emiliano Grill0 (T3)
- Charles Howell III (T3)
- Tony Finau (T3)
- Cameron Tringale (T3)
- Richy Werenski (T3)
- Robby Shelton (T3)
COURSE AND TOURNAMENT INFO
- Course: TPC Twin Cities
- Location: Blaine, MN
- Date: July 22-25, 2021
- Par: 71 / Yardage 7,431
- Purse: $6.6 Million / Winner $1.15M
- Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass with Bluegrass/Fescue at 3”
- Greens: Bentgrass
- TV: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) and CBS (Thurs-Sun 3-6pm ET)
- Twitter: @3MOpen
The TPC Twin Cities opened in 2000 and was the host course for the 3M Open on the Champions Tour. The Arnold Palmer design was renovated in 2018 and included narrowing of fairways, addition of bunkers (72 total) and repositioning of tee complexes. There are 27 water hazards on the course with 10 coming into play off the tee.
TPC Twin Cities is one of the easiest courses to drive, and in the inaugural event the average distance was well over 300 yards with average fairways hit at 65%. So players can attack the average size greens, and the course is among the easier on the PGA TOUR for greens in regulation. However, the course rating is among the ten toughest on the TOUR in 2019 to get up and down if players missed the green on approach.
3M OPEN OPENS DOOR TO MORE LONGSHOTS IN CONTENTION
Another shootout is expected and low scores widens the list of players with longer golf betting odds to hit the leaderboard and contend for a top finish or win. The winning scores the past two years of the event have been -21 (263) and -19 (265). In 2019, six of the top-10 finishers had pre-tournament odds to win of +8000 or greater including winner Matthew Wolff (+12500), whose eagle on the closing par 5 gave him a one-shot win over Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa.
In last year’s 2020 event, Michael Thompson won at +10000 odds, and runner-up Adam Long (+15000) was an even greater longshot. Eight players tied for third, and a total of eight players who finished in the top 10 had odds to win of at least +8000.
Some key stats and categories to evaluate more closely for the 3M Open include:
- Strokes Gained: Approach (weight most heavily)
- Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Par 4
- Strokes Gained: Par 5
- Birdies or Better
Proximity to hole: 175-200 yards
SG: Putting (Bentgrass)
The best players in this field in Birdies or Better Gained: (Last 36 rounds)
- Jason Kokrak
- Patton Kizzire
- Emiliano Grillo
- Dustin Johnson
- Troy Merrit
- Cam Davis
- Brandon Grace
- Maverick McNealy
Of the players in the 3M field, Jason Kokrak leads all players in birdie average on the PGA TOUR this season and is overall top 10. Next in the field and top 20 in birdie average is Patton Kizzire, followed by Cameron Tringale, Cam Davis, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson in the top 30.
Next week, it’s the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition in Japan, and then the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational the first week of August.
2021 3M Open scores: Ryan Armour, Adam Hadwin shoot 65s in Round 2, co-lead at 10 under
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) -- Adam Hadwin missed the weekend cuts in his last three tournaments, continuing a disappointing stretch as he dropped to 120th in the FedEx Cup standings.
The 33-year-old Canadian has put himself in position to get back in contention for the playoffs with a strong run at the 3M Open.
Hadwin shot a 6-under 65 on Friday for a share of the lead with Ryan Armour at 10-under 132. Armour shot 65.
"I drove it really well today," Hadwin said. "Wasn't in any trouble, hit a lot of good quality iron shots. Again, fat sides of the hole, I gave myself opportunities. My speed control's been really good. It's been as stress-free a 65 as you're going to have."
Hadwin and Armour were two of few players in the afternoon to go low as wind started to play a role following a hot and humid morning with heat indexes reaching 100 degrees.
Bo Hoag (66), Chez Reavie (67), Jhonatton Vegas (69) and Roger Sloan (69) were a shot back. All four played in the morning.
Rick Gehman is joined by Greg DuCharme to break down and react to Friday's second round action at the 3M Open. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Second-ranked Dustin Johnson bogeyed the 18th hole after putting his tee shot in the water and missed the cut. He shot 72 to finish at even par. The cut was 2-under.
Staying in contention this weekend would be a boon to Hadwin and Armour.
Hadwin, who finished fourth in the inaugural 3M Open in 2019, was just inside the cut for the FedEx Cup playoffs. The top 125 in the standings make the playoffs. Armour started the tournament 135th.
"I think the biggest thing coming in this week, I've just been a little bit more committed to the process and less on the outcome," Hadwin said. "Certainly playoffs, maintaining status, all that stuff has probably been creeping in a bit in the last little bit and I probably got away from some of the little details that make this game happen for us. So, I've gotten back to that these last three rounds and it's worked out a lot better for me."
Hadwin, famous for shooting a 59 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in 2017, had a 69 on the final day of the British Open and followed with a 67 on Thursday in Minnesota. His only PGA Tour win was the Valspar Championship in 2017.
Armour's lone victory came in the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship. He's coming off a fifth-place finish at last week's Barbasol Championship. He birdied five of his final eight holes Friday.
"I'm trying," Armour said. "We'll worry about the points later. I don't feel like I've really had as bad a year as 135 sounds. I missed five or six cuts by a shot, so you're always kind of around that cut line and I just fell on the wrong side of it a few times. That's what kind of gnaws at you because you feel like, man, it's not that bad, so maybe I should be higher, but you've got to go out and get it done and we're just trying our hardest right now."
Eleven players finished their first rounds Friday after a weather delay Thursday left them unable to finish. With more inclement weather forecast overnight, the 3M Open will go with threesomes off split tees Saturday.
Vegas was able to finish in the dark on Thursday, but it wasn't without incident as his approach on the 18th hit the top of a hospitality tent. The ball was found and he was given relief and finished with a birdie and a tie for the lead.
One of four players at the 3M Open slated to play in next week's Olympics, Vegas kept his strong recent form going Friday. The Venezuelan was among the leaders before a bogey finish on the ninth hole, which is playing as the toughest on the course.
Vegas has tied for 11th or better in three of his last five tournaments.
"I feel I like I'm keeping the ball in play pretty well, giving myself enough chances, making a few putts, which is always good," Vegas said. "The wind is blowing and it's kind of that intensity that is a little bit annoying, especially some of those shots with so much water around this place, but played solid. I can't really complain too much."
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The 3M Open received a strong late addition to its field Friday when Patrick Reed committed to play in next week’s PGA Tour event shortly after missing the 36-hole cut at The Open championship.
The 2018 Masters champion entered this week as the No. 9 player in the world, making him the second of two top 10 players in next week’s field — officially released Friday afternoon — alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Also in the field is No. 13 Louis Oosthuizen, who leads The Open by two shots through two rounds after he finished in second place earlier this season in both the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. The other top-20 player in the field is Tony Finau, who finished in a tie for third last year in Blaine.
Pair those four top talents with other popular names such as Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson, and the 3M Open netted a fairly strong field in a year when the schedule was not friendly.
The event was sandwiched between The Open and the Olympics, instantly removing many of the world’s top players — including the likes of Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau, who are likely to return to TPC Twin Cities in the future — from possibly playing in Minnesota this summer.
But players like Jason Kokrak and Stewart Cink, both of whom have won twice on the PGA Tour this season alone, will be here. As will locals such as Spring Lake Park High School graduate Troy Merritt and Gophers alum Erik van Rooyen. Inaugural 3M Open winner Matthew Wolff is back for a third straight year. Other notable players in the field include Matt Kuchar and 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.
And those who miss Minnesota being an annual Champions Tour stop can see that tour’s current top player — 54-year-old Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native — tee it up at TPC Twin Cities.
Check out the entire field here.