The 3M Open was announced by the PGA Tour in 2018 with the new tournament slated to begin the following year. Although it was a brand new event, it was almost seen as a promotion of the 3M Championship which had been a popular PGA Tour Champions event for over 25 years.
Like the 3M Championship, the 3M Open is held at TPC Twin Cities. The course is one of the finest in 3M’s home state of Minnesota, 3M being a large multinational company. Scoring is not particularly difficult at the 7,431 yard layout but the first couple of editions showed that it is a course that has a propensity for throwing up dramatic finishes. Adding to the sense of occasion are the fans who are very loud and create a great atmosphere, no doubt aiding the drama.
|2020||TPC Twin Cities||Michael Thompson|
|2019||TPC Twin Cities||Matthew Wolff|
2020: Michael Thompson
The first two editions of the 3M Open did wonders for this fledging tournament. After the drama and brilliance of Matthew Wolff’s win in 2019, Michael Thompson made a late surge of his own to get his hands on the trophy. Two birdies in his final three holes was enough for Thompson to finish on -19, two shots clear of Adam Long who also had a very good Sunday, shooting -7 for his final 18 holes to set the clubhouse lead five groups ahead of the final pairing.
In muggy, uncomfortable conditions throughout the week, it was solid approach play and dependable putting that made the difference for Thompson. Nobody who made the cut gained more strokes on the field with their putter than the 35-year-old who ended a wait of more than seven years after his victory at the Honda Classic for a second PGA Tour title.
As with any golf tournament, the elation of the winner was matched by dejection from those who couldn’t quite do enough. Defending champion, Matthew Wolff, found himself in a position to challenge on Sunday but saw his round tail off when it really mattered, while more questions will be asked about Tony Finau’s ability to handle pressure as another good chance for a win petered out with his chipping and putting principally to blame.
2019: Matthew Wolff
The American college golf system has always produced excellent golfers who have gone on to big things. In recent years though youngsters from college are requiring less and less time to acclimatise to the PGA Tour. Despite his eccentric swing, Matthew Wolff is certainly a case in point. He became a PGA Tour winner at the 3M Open just six weeks after winning the NCAA individual title with Oklahoma State in only his third start as a professional golfer.
Wolff showed an incredible ability to come up with the goods when the pressure is at its highest by holing an eagle putt from 26 feet on the final hole. He was not the only recent graduate from the college ranks to impress in Blaine, Minnesota though. His playing partner, Collin Morikawa, had also recently turned pro and had an eagle putt of his own to tie Wolff at the end of 72 holes. That came up short to hand the title to an understandably emotional Wolff.
The large crowds who crammed around the 18th green at TPC Twin Cities were treated to a fantastic show in the inaugural edition of the 3M Open. Just minutes before the drama unfolder in the final group, Bryson DeChambeau made an eagle of his own in the group ahead to become the clubhouse leader. Wolff was not to be denied though in what will surely be the first win of many.