Minnesota Golf Association

DeChambeau, Wolff and Morikawa Share Lead at 3M; Minnesotans Merritt and Lehman in Contention

July 6, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  BLAINE, Minn. – With a combined seven starts on the PGA Tour this season, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa sit in a tie atop of the leaderboard at 15-under par, along with five-time PGA Tour winner Bryson DeChambeau following the third round of the 3M Open Saturday at TPC Twin Cities.
Wolff, who won five collegiate events as well as the 2019 NCAA individual title while at Oklahoma State University, had a string of six consecutive birdies Saturday to jump 34 spots with his round of 9-under par 62 to earn a share of the lead.
“It was a lot of fun. The last couple of tournaments I played I didn’t really get anything going to make a birdie and kind of level out, so to string some together was really awesome,” Wolff said after his round Saturday, the third consecutive round of 62 at the championship this week. “It was a combination of hitting my wedges a lot better and rolling in some putts.
“The biggest thing is my driver this week. I’ve been getting it in play and setting myself up really nicely, so that helps a lot. The last couple weeks I think I’ve been a little too strategic. Shooting 62 anytime is special, especially one of your first events out here on the PGA Tour. It was really good to come out firing quickly and hopefully some good mojo and momentum going into tomorrow."
In full control early Saturday, Wolff carded a 6-under 29 on his front side, including five straight birdies beginning at the fifth. His longest birdie putt on the outward nine came at the third hole where his putt from 12 feet dropped.
Sinking an 8-footer at the 10th, Wolff moved to 7-under for the day with his sixth consecutive birdie before dialing a long-distance birdie from 26 feet at the 13th. Wolff’s only misstep came at the par-3 17th, missing the green right with his tee shot and was unable to get up-and-down to save par. He bounced right back by sinking a 10-footer on the final hole to post a career tournament-low and take his first 54-hole lead as a professional.
“When I birdied 10 to get to 7-under, I was kind of thinking 59, but I knew I kind of had to stay in the moment,” Wolff said. “My caddie, Steve Lohmeyer, he’s been really good about that. We talked about, you know, [NBA free agency] and pretty much anything in between shots to kind of take my mind off of it, which really helped."
Playing alongside Minnesotan Tom Lehman during his round Saturday, Wolff said, “It was an honor really. To be able to play with him, especially in his hometown or his home state was awesome. The crowds were unbelievable.”
Asked if he turned to the 60-year-old and five-time winner on Tour, Wolff remarked, “Today I was kind of rolling, I didn’t feel like I needed to ask him for much. We just talked about some of the stories that he had over the years and everything he’s done. It was a round that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
Wolff played in the Waste Management Phoenix Open as an amateur in February prior to finishing his sophomore season at Oklahoma State University this spring with the NCAA individual title, turning pro shortly after.
In his first start as a professional, Wolff finished tied for 80th at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago before missing the cut at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.
Morikawa, who won both the Western Junior and Trans-Mississippi Championship during his amateur career, also won five collegiate events at the University of California, Berkeley and finished his senior season with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA National Championship earlier this spring.
Making his professional debut at the RBC Canadian Open in June, Morikawa finished tied for 14th before he placed 35th at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach a week later. Morikawa shot 4-under par 236 two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship to finish tied for 36th, making the cut in each of his first three appearances on Tour to earn more than $215,000 so far this season.
Missing only one green during the third round Saturday, Morikawa had just one blemish on the scorecard with a bogey at the par-4 15th. He rolled in five birdies on his opening nine, all of which came from inside of 10 feet, before carding three more over the final nine holes to card a 7-under 64.
“Going back to some of the other rounds, I’ve kind of been up-and-down and I’ve had good parts and had to really just hold on,” Morikawa said Saturday. “Today everything was going pretty good. Obviously, I had the little hiccup on 15, but for the most part, a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow.
“I want to finish it off. I’m not just here to enjoy it, make the cut; I’m here to contend and win. Thankfully through three rounds I’ve put myself in that position. My ball striking’s kept me in this week and finally was able to make some putts.”
Morikawa made his collegiate debut at the Gopher Invitational at Windsong Farm for the Golden Bears to begin the 2015-16 season. He posted an 8-over par 221 to finish tied for 17th.
DeChambeau’s string of 48 holes without a bogey came to an end at the 13th hole Saturday when he was unable to get up-and-down to save par after missing the green at the par-3 to the right. He would bookend his third round with birdies at the first and 18th to shoot 70 and remain in the lead for the second straight round.
Matching Piercy’s round of 62 Thursday, DeChambeau carded an identical score during the second round Friday before Wolff became the third consecutive player to shoot 9-under par during a round Saturday.
In position to claim his third top-10 finish of the week season, Spring Lake Park, Minn., native Troy Merritt posted a 5-under par 66 Saturday and will enter Sunday’s final round in a tie for sixth place at 13-under, while fellow Minnesotan Lehman is tied for 27th, six shots off the lead.
The inaugural 3M Open concludes Sunday with final-round tee times scheduled to begin at 7:05 a.m. at TPC Twin Cities.
2019 3M OPEN
7,468 YARDS, PAR 71
T1. Matthew Wolff, 69-67-62—198
T1. Collin Morikawa, 68-66-64—198
T1. Bryson DeChambeau, 66-62-70—198
T4. Wyndham Clark, 66-69-64—199
T4. Adam Hadwin, 64-66-69—199
T6. Hideki Matsuyama, 64-70-66—200
T6. Charles Howell III, 68-66-66—200
T6. TROY MERRITT, 70-64-66—200
T9. Joaquin Niemann, 73-63-65—201
T9. Dylan Frittelli, 66-69-66—201
T9. Roger Sloan, 67-67-67—201
T9. Arjun Atwal, 65-68-68—201
T9. Scott Brown, 68-65-68—201
T9. Scott Piercy, 62-70-69—201

T27. TOM LEHMAN, 67-69-68—204
For complete tournament results go to: hwww.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

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