Matthew Wolff eagles 18 to win inaugural 3M Open
BLAINE (FOX 9) - Matthew Wolff's life changed forever on the 18th green at TPC Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon.
In just his fourth PGA Tour start after winning the NCAA title at Oklahoma State, Wolff nailed an eagle putt from 26 feet to cap off a 6-under par 65 and finish the inaugural 3M Open 21-under par. Moments before that, Bryson DeChambeau recorded an eagle of his own at 18 to briefly take the lead at 20-under par.
Wolff had to wait to celebrate, as playing partner Collin Morikawa had an eagle put that could've forced a sudden death playoff. It tickled the left edge and slid by, and the party was on. Wolff was a first-time PGA Tour champion, and more than $1.1 million richer. The only problem? He's 20 years old, can't legally drink in Minnesota and in his words, would have to celebrate with a virgin pina colada.
"It's the only virgin drink I can think of right now," Wolff said.
Between the financial security, earning a tour card with the win and two years worth of tournament exemptions, it's safe to say the 3M Open will always be a special place for Wolff. It was the longest and most rewarding 26 feet of his life.
"That putt was something that changed my life forever. I'm speechless right now. It's something that I'll definitely remember as not only my first win, but that putt, to do that with all the nerves and trying to get my Tour card was pretty special to me," Wolff said. "I had the same celebration when I won the national championship at Oklahoma State. I kind of stepped and yelled, ‘Come on.' It was cool to see that. It's a dream come true."
Wolff's 65 on Sunday included a 5-under par 31 on the final nine, capped by the eagle at 18. He finished the 3M Open with four rounds in the 60s, including a 9-under par 62 in the third round that got him to 15-under par for the tournament after 54 holes.
His playing partner Saturday? Minnesota native and TPC co-designer Tom Lehman.
Lehman was a gracious host for the week and helped get TPC Twin Cities ready for Minnesota's first regular PGA Tour stop, but he's also a fierce competitor.
It's why he had to take a moment on Sunday and acknowledge a successful weekend after he made the cut at 60 years old, and finished with a 2-over par 73. It was his first over par round of the tournament, and came after going 4-over par in his first six holes.
The Minnesota native got cheers from fans the entire final round, and finished in style with a birdie at 18. He said after the round it's likely his final competitive tournament in Minnesota. He was tired after 72 holes, but also proud of what's transpired over the week in Blaine.
"Really happy with the week. Really pleased, I think the tournament is a huge success. Great fans, great support for everybody out here," Lehman said. "Golf course I thought played extremely well. In looking at the scores, it gives up scores but there's nothing crazy going on out there and I think that's good."
For the fourth straight day, a competitor flirted with the course record at TPC Twin Cities. It was Lucas Glover's turn on Sunday.
Glover hasn't won a PGA Tour event eight years, since beating Jonathan Byrd in a playoff in May of 2011 to win the Wells Fargo Championship. But he's gaining confidence in his game with top 12 finishes in six of eight starts this season.
Glover missed a 10-foot putt on No. 18 Sunday that would've given him a 10-under par 61. Instead, he became the fourth player this week to shoot a 9-under par 62. He left the golf course, at the time, tied for the lead at 16-under par. Glover made six birdies and had a bogey on the first nine to shoot 5-under par 30. He finished with four birdies on the back nine, and had chances at 17 and 18 for what would've been the low round of the week.
Glover, who has 10 top-20 finishes and has earned more than $1.3 million in the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, enjoyed his inaugural trip to the 3M Open.
"Everything was great, it was a ball. Weather was good, we had that one little hiccup on Thursday weather-wise, but a great week, a great course, it was fun," Glover said. "The area was great, people were excited to see us which is always nice. I had a ball here."
3M Tournament Organizer Hollis Cavner, who was beaming and sipping on a cold Bud Light while Wolff spoke about his victory, wanted fireworks and birdies in Minnesota's first regular PGA Tour stop. He got that, and so much more.
Most players had glowing reviews about the course, and raved about the fans that watched them take the scores low.
"What I feel good about is I think if you go really low, you really have to earn it. You have to go out and earn it, and I think that's fair," Lehman said. "That's all you really want in golf is to be rewarded for the good shots and penalized for the bad ones."
It's safe to say the PGA Tour has a new stop in the Twin Cities, and it put on a great show.