Surprise, surprise. If players at the 3M Championship wanted to see their name on the leaderboard Friday, it meant a de-facto game of limbo dance: How low can they go? Mark Wiebe provided the answer after he fired an 8-under-par round of 64 to take the Day 1 lead by a stroke over Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin. Wiebe, still adjusting to the time difference after winning the Senior British Open in a playoff on Monday, hit all 14 fairways and needed only 25 putts. His scorecard featured all threes and fours through 17 holes — a fact playing partner Nick Price pointed out on the 18th tee — before taking a par on the long finishing hole. Perry, who hasn’t played since winning back-to-back majors earlier this summer, shot his sixth score in the 60s in seven rounds at the 3M Championship. He’s a combined 36-under-par in those starts.
HOLE OF THE DAY
No. 14, 423 yards, par 4
In an event where the winning score has been 15 under or better six consecutive years, it was refreshing to see a bit of a test. The 14th yielded only 16 birdies Friday and 17 bogeys. Seven players carded a double bogey at the hole, which played to an average of 4.222.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Luckily it passed and I had a 2:50 p.m. tee time. The residual pain is there for 24 hours though … I guess this is the stuff we talk about on the Senior Tour.”
– Champions Tour rookie Bart Bryant (right), on dealing with a kidney stone last week.
UP AND DOWN WITH SCOTT SIMPSON
Q For starting 3 over after two holes, you rebounded nicely for a 2 under.
A I felt like I was playing pretty good coming into this event but a three putt on the first and into the water on No. 2 and it turned into one of those things. I was pretty happy to make some birdies. What can you do? Just keep your attitude good. It’s fun to come back.
Q You had four straight top 10s in U.S. Opens during your PGA Tour career, why did you play so well in those events?
A They just fit my game. I was always pretty good at everything but not probably great at everything. I could keep it in play and was a good chipper and putter. And I was patient. Those are the things you need in a U.S. Open because you’re going to miss a lot of greens and have to keep your emotions under control.
Q Does the Olympic Club, where you won the 1987 U.S. Open, remain one of your favorite courses?
A Oh yeah. And beyond me winning there, it’s a great golf course. No water. No OB. One fairway bunker and it still plays really hard. I like the courses where if you hit a good shot you’re rewarded, if you hit a bad shot you’re penalized and if you hit a real bad shot you’re real penalized. Courses like Pete Dye courses you can be penalized for a good shot. I don’t like that.
Q Do you have any copies of the Sports Illustrated cover you were on after that win?
A I do but I don’t know where they are. My wife does, I’m sure. It was a huge thrill to be on the cover. The only trouble is I have to sign about a thousand of them each year. But that’s a good problem.