The PGA Tour Champions circuit returns to the Twin Cities for the 26th and final time with the 3M Championship taking place August 3-5 at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, MN. Tournament activities kick off Monday, July 30 with Pro-Am events that will continue through Thursday, including the EMC Pro-Am Draw party on Tuesday evening.
Defending champion Paul Goydos returns to defend his 2017 crown against the likes of Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh and Minnesota native and crowd-favorite Tom Lehman.
It’s not really a sad farewell for Minnesota golf fans however, as the PGA Tour will return to Minnesota over July 4th weekend in 2019 with a yearly event for the first time in nearly 50 years: the 3M Open.
It’s been a wonderful run for the PGA Tour Champions in Minnesota, beginning with golf legend Chi-Chi Rodriguez winning the inaugural Burnet Senior Challenge at Bunker Hills golf course back in June 1993. The tournament has had an amazing run since then, becoming the 3M Championship and moving to the TPC Twin Cities back in 2001.
Golf Hall-of-Famer Hale Irwin is the only three-time winner of the event, while fellow Hall-of-Famer Bernhard Langer and Kenny Perry have each won the event twice. Irwin and Langer happen to rank first and second all-time in wins on the senior circuit.
With the tournament making its last appearance, we thought we would take a look at some of the top highlights from the 25 years of exciting tournament action.
It’s always incredible to watch the best golfers in the world in action up close and personal, and in that respect, the 3M Championship has never disappointed. On a golf course that even the best local players find to be extremely difficult, the pros come in every summer and prove just how good they actually are.
This was never more apparent than during the 2010 3M Championship when South African David Frost came to town and simply blistered the TPC Twin Cities with rounds of 64-66-61 to run away with the tournament by seven shots. That’s 25-under par in just three rounds of golf!
Most Exciting Tournament
We don’t have to go back very far to answer this one. The 3M Championship has been incredibly lucky over the years, with the tournament always providing exceptional golf and exciting finishes—with 14 tournaments decided by just a single shot and three of them going to playoffs.
It was the 2016 tournament, however, that provided the most goose bumps of all. Miguel Angel Jimenez double bogeyed the 14th hole on Sunday to seemingly dash his hopes. Instead of hanging his head, the charismatic Spaniard closed out his round by pouring in four straight birdies to tie Joe Durant at 19-under par. Jimenez didn’t slow down in the playoff either, rolling in a 15-foot birdie on the par-5 18th hole for his fifth straight birdie. It wasn’t enough.
Durant brought the crowd to its feet with an extraordinary second shot to 10 feet and then rolled in his eagle putt to take the crown amid a thunderous ovation.
Best Single Day
With so many spectacular days of golf, it’s pretty hard to pick just one day as the single highlight. Or is it? No, when the Mount Rushmore of modern-day golf are strolling the fairways of the TPC Twin Cities, it’s a day no one in attendance will ever forget. Hollis Cavner, the director of the 3M Championship, might have outdone himself in 2014 when Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam were all on hand to take part in the “Greats of Golf” competition the day before the tournament began.
The smiles were impossible to hide as golfing immortality laughed, interacted with fans, and played a fun round of golf on a day that will live on in the annals of Minnesota golf lore.
Don’t miss seeing the best senior golfers in the world for the last time in Minnesota—EMC will greet tournament attendees at its Skybox location on the 18th green throughout the week.