3M Championship Primer: Storylines, History, TV, Field

The 25th annual 3M Championship tees off tomorrow at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota for the 16th Champions Tour event of the season. With no majors remaining on the schedule, all the the attention will focus on jockeying for the playoffs during these final eight tournament weeks.

3M Championship – History

The long-running Gopher State tournament was founded in 1993 as the Burnet Senior Classic, and, for its first eight editions, was contested at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, MN.


 
With the explosion of golf in the late 90s, the PGA Tour commissioned the design and development of TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, just a 10 minute drive from Coons Rapids.

The Arnold Palmer and Tom Lehman designed course was completed in 2000, and the tournament moved to the new TPC venue in 2001, bringing along Minnesota-based 3M as its title sponsor.


The 3M Championship Field By The Numbers

The 3M Championship will once again have a star-studded field, headlined by 10-time senior major legend Bernhard Langer.

  • 57 players in the field have won 293 PGA Tour titles
  • 49 players have won 239 Champions Tour victories
  • 12 players have won major titles on the PGA Tour
  • 18 players have won major victories on the Champions Tour

The Skinny

Tournament: 3M Championship
Title Sponsor: 3M Corporation
Dates: August 4-6
Course: TPC Twin Cities
Where: Blaine, Minnesota
Distance: 7,002 yards, par 72
Architect: Arnold Palmer/Tom Lehman (2000)
Format: 72 hole competition, no cut
Purse: $1,750,000
Winning Share: $262,500
Website: 3MChampionship.com


Golf Channel Coverage

All times are Central, Friday on Tape Delay
Round 1: Friday, 8-10 PM
Round 2: Saturday, 4-6 PM
Round 3: Sunday, 4-6 PM


Weather Report

Dry weather is forecast on Friday with partly cloudy skies and afternoon temps in the mid 70s. There’s a slight chance of showers on Saturday with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible for Sunday.


Defending Champion

Following a mediocre opening-round 2-under 70, Joe Durant turned on the after-burners for his weekend play, shooting rounds of 8-under 64 and 9-under 63 to force a playoff with Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.


 
To cap off his dream weekend, the then-52-year-old sank a 10-footer for eagle on the first playoff hole to capture his second Champions Tour victory. Durant’s 17-under-par 127 on the weekend is his lowest-ever on Tour.
 
The win at the 3M Championship is Durant’s only singles victory on the senior circuit. His other credited Champions Tour win came at the 2015 Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf, a team event he won along with Billy Andrade.


Recent Champions

2016 Joe Durant
2015 Kenny Perry
2014 Kenny Perry
2013 Tom Pernice, Jr.
2012 Bernhard Langer
2011 Jay Haas


Storyline 1: Stricker Makes First Start

President Cup captain Steve Stricker will make his debut at the 3M Championship this week. The 12-time PGA Tour winner, and Wisconsin native, served as a Ryder Cup Vice Captain under Davis Love III last fall in Team USA’s winning effort at Hazeltine National.


 
This will mark Stricker’s sixth start on the Champions Tour. The 50-year-old has been impressive thus far with four top-10 finishes, three of those being top 3s, including a second-place at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic and a pair of T3 efforts at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic and the American Family Insurance Championship.


Storyline 2: Langer, Langer, and More Langer

With 33 career senior circuit wins – 10 of those being majors, no player has enjoyed more success on the Champions Tour than Bernhard Langer. And his performance in the 3M has been just as impressive.


 
The 59-year-old Langer, who is just days shy of his 60th birthday, has won the 3M twice (2009, 2012), finished runner-up three more times (2008, 2014, 2015) and posted a T3 just a year ago. Maybe even more mind-blowing is this statistical nugget: Of the 24 rounds Langer has played at TPC Twin Cities, ALL have been below par, and 22 have been in the 60s.


Storyline 3: The Legends Return

The ‘Greats of Golf Challenge’ returns for its 14th year at the 3M. Headlined by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino, alongside captain Chi Chi Rodriguez, the four legends will compete in an 18-hole exhibition scramble against three other teams.


 
Those teams are as follows: David Graham, Tom Weiskopf and Hale Irwin (Capt. Tony Jacklin); Fuzzy Zoeller, David Graham and Ben Crenshaw (Capt. Andy North); Michelle McGann, Pat Bradley and Nany Lopez (Capt. Bill Rogers).


3M Championship – Full Field

79 Players in the Field

Michael Allen
Stephen Ames
Billy Andrade
Tommy Armour III
Woody Austin
Michael Bradley
Mark Brooks
Olin Browne
Bart Bryant
Brad Bryant
Tom Byrum
Mark Calcavecchia
Jim Carter
Russ Cochran
Marco Dawson
Glen Day
Scott Dunlap
Joe Durant
Steve Flesch
Dan Forsman
Carlos Franco
Fred Funk
Bobby Gage
Doug Garwood
Bob Gilder
Mike Goodes
Paul Goydos
Jay Haas
Gary Hallberg
Todd Hamilton
John Harris
Brian Henninger
John Huston
Peter Jacobsen
Lee Janzen
Tom Jenkins
Brandt Jobe
Kent Jones
Jerry Kelly
Skip Kendall
James Kingston
Tom Kite
Bernhard Langer
Tom Lehman
Jeff Maggert
Billy Mayfair
Scott McCarron
Rocco Mediate
Larry Mize
Colin Montgomerie
Larry Nelson
Scott Parel
Corey Pavin
Tom Pernice Jr.
Kenny Perry
Phillip Price
Fran Quinn
Loren Roberts
Gene Sauers
Wes Short, Jr.
Joey Sindelar
Jeff Sluman
Jerry Smith
Rod Spittle
Mike Springer
Steve Stricker
Kevin Sutherland
Esteban Toledo
David Toms
Kirk Triplett
Bob Tway
Scott Verplank
Duffy Waldorf
Willie Wood


Credit: PGA Tour Champions Media Notes and Guide, Getty Images


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a Producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is producing a digital documentary on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.



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