Minnesota Golf Association

Wolff Eagles 72nd Hole to Claim First PGA Tour Victory at Drama-Filled 3M Open

July 7, 2019

 
By Nick Hunter
nick@mngolf.org
 
 
  BLAINE, Minn. – In late May, Oklahoma State University sophomore Matthew Wolff claimed the 2019 NCAA Division I National Championship individual title for his sixth win of the season. Less than six weeks later, Wolff rolled in an eagle putt on the 72nd hole Sunday to win his first PGA Tour victory in just his fourth start by edging Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau at the inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.
 
From the 18th fairway Sunday, Wolff watched as DeChambeau sank his eagle putt in the waning moments of the championship to take a one-stroke lead. With his second shot at the par-5 18th resting on the fringe 26 feet away, Wolff’s eagle chance fell, and in the process, he became just the third player along with Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw to win an NCAA individual title and PGA Tour event in the same season.
 
“A lot of my putts weren’t going in today, so I was telling myself that one is bound to drop,” Wolff said of his putt on the final hole Sunday. “I was really nervous, I was shaking a little bit once I was behind the putt, but I took a couple of deep breaths and that settled me down.”
 
Playing on a sponsor’s exemption this week, Wolff becomes the first player since Billy Hurley III in 2016 at the Quicken Loans National to win on a sponsor’s exemption. With his win Sunday Wolff joked that as a 20-year-old he’ll have ‘job security.’
 
He also earns a PGA Tour card for the next two seasons beginning in 2020, a spot in the next Masters and PGA Championship, as well as a spot in each of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Invitational.
 
Speaking of what he anticipates most in the coming year, Wolff replied, “I would say the Masters. That’s something that I’ve always dreamed of. That’s the most prestigious event in golf. Augusta National Golf Club is amazing and I’ve always wanted to play there and never got to. That tournament is something that I’m really looking forward to.
 
“For the most part, it’s just playing on the PGA Tour. I knew as soon as I left college that I’m out here with the best players in the world and I have to prove myself, and I did that. Now I’m just free to play my game.”
 
Wolff opened the championship with a round of 69 Thursday and followed it with a 4-under 67 during the second round Friday. He jumped into a share of the lead with Collin Morikawa and DeChambeau following his career tournament-low 62, which also tied a course record.
 
Getting started quickly Sunday, Wolff nearly holed his approach at the par-4 second, leaving a tap-in birdie before rolling in another short putt at the fifth to move to 17-under for the championship.
 
Taking a step back with a three-putt bogey at the ninth, Wolff bounced back by sinking a 12-footer for birdie at the 10th. With six players tied on top of the leaderboard at one point late Sunday, Wolff began to pull away with back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th.
 
Morikawa, who carded six birdies over his first seven holes of the final nine Sunday, moved into a share of the lead with Wolff when his birdie at the 16th dropped.
 
With DeChambeau providing some late-round dramatics with his eagle putt from just over six feet to take a one-stroke lead, Wolff took aim and left his second left of the putting surface. After Wolff made his eagle puttt, Morikawa rolled his eagle putt from 22-feet left of the cup, tapping in for birdie to finish tied for second with DeChambeau at 20-under par 264.
 
“I don’t think it’s really settled in yet,” Wolff said during his post-round press conference. “It’s life-changing. You’ve seen it all before the last couple of weeks, first time winners and stuff. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of as a kid growing up. I’ve been told so many times that I was born for moments like these, I live for moments like these. It doesn’t get better than this.
 
“This round was—I learned a lot from it, but to have it end like this was everything I could’ve hoped and wished for. The putt on the last was, gosh, something that changed my life forever. I’m speechless right now.”
 
Sunday’s finish was another impressive performance for the 22-year-old Morikawa, who has made the cut in each of his first four starts this season, including his runner-up finish Sunday.
 
Bogeying two of his first three holes Sunday, Morikawa quickly fell three shots off the lead after the third, but battled back by carding seven birdies over his final 12 holes, nearly making an eighth at the 17th as his ball rolled around the lip and refused to fall.
 
Leaving himself with a short birdie on the final hole, Morikawa claims the best finish of his young career and second top-15 finish of the season.
 
“I came in with the mindset there’s nothing to lose. When I made the turn, I knew my game’s been playing well and I just kind of went out there to make birdies,” Morikawa said Sunday. “But to come back and shoot 6-under on the back was really special, definitely a lot of momentum heading in.
 
“I love this, I love being out here. This is exactly what I’ve wanted to do my entire life. It’s kind of emotional just being here because this is what I want to do. I can’t see anything else, so I’m excited to keep playing. Next week should be fun and hopefully we’ll keep it going from there.”
 
Falling one-stroke shy of his sixth PGA Tour victory, DeChambeau experienced a whirlwind of emotions in a matter of minutes late Sunday.
 
“I’m pleased. Obviously disappointed that I didn’t win. I knew I could win. It was frustrating, especially coming up 18—walking up 18, signing the scorecard and going, ‘All right, there’s going to be a playoff,’ especially seeing where they were. I had no idea they would make that putt. I gave it my all. I knew 21 was going to be the number and I tried to get there, and unfortunate the par-5s weren’t nice to me this week, except on 18.
 
“Congrats to Matt. Unbelievable to make that and win for his first PGA Tour title. Hats off to him, he’s a great player and obviously a stud, so he belongs out here.”
 
Spring Lake Park High School graduate Troy Merritt fired a final-round 68 Sunday to finish tied for seventh at 16-under 268, while former two-time MGA Amateur champ Tom Hoge, of Fargo, N.D., closed with a 67 to finish tied for 23rd, 13-under-par 271. Former  Gopher and the 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman finished tied for 58th, his best finish at a PGA Tour event since the Open Championship in 2013.
 
 
 
2019 3M OPEN
TPC TWIN CITIES
BLAINE, MINN.
7,468 YARDS, PAR 71
 
 
SUNDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
1. Matthew Wolff, 69-67-62-65—263
T2. Bryson DeChambeau, 66-62-70-66—264
T2. Collin Morikawa, 68-66-64-66—264
4. Adam Hadwin, 64-66-69-67—266
T5. Carlos Ortiz, 67-67-69-64—267
T5. Wyndham Clark, 66-69-64-68—267  
T7. Lucas Glover, 67-72-67-62—268
T7. Sam Burns, 66-66-72-64—268
T7. Brian Harman, 65-67-71-65—268
T7. Joey Garber, 73-65-65-65—268
T7. TROY MERRITT, 70-64-66-68—268
T7. Hideki Matsuyama, 64-70-66-68—268

T15. Charlie Danielson, 73-66-64-67--270

T23. Tom Hoge, 68-71-65-67--271

T58. TOM LEHMAN, 67-69-68-73—277
 
 
For complete tournament results go to: www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html


 
 


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