3M Championship preview: Expect another flurry of birdies

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 28, 2013 - 9:29 PM

Champions Tour rookies and veterans alike are gearing up for the annual 3M Championship this week. The tournament, known for low scores and big names, begins Friday with plenty of free events preceding the opening round.

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Kenny Perry celebrated his victory in the U.S. Senior Open, one of his two major championships this season.

Photo: Alyssa Schukar • Omaha World Herald via AP,

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The basics

When: Practice rounds and pro-ams Monday-Thursday; 54-hole tournament Friday-Sunday

Where: TPC Twin Cities in Blaine

Tickets: Free general admission all week. The expo tent (Friday-Sunday) located behind No. 18 is also free.

Parking/shuttle service: Free from the Anoka County Airport.

Purse: $1.75 million; $262,500 to the winner

TV: Golf Channel (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday; 3-5 p.m. Saturday; 3-5 p.m. Sunday)

Tournament 54-hole record: 191 (25 under) by David Frost in 2010

Tournament 18-hole record: 61 by Frost in the final round of 2010

Last year: Bernhard Langer awoke Sunday thinking he’d need a 10-under 62 to come from six shots back and win the 3M Championship for the second time in four years. So he did it, besting David Peoples by two shots.

The victory ended a 24-event winless stretch for Langer, his longest drought since joining the 50-and-over circuit. Kenny Perry and Olin Browne tied for third.

Langer joins Hale Irwin (1997, ’99, ’02) as the only multiple-time winner of the 3M Championship. Irwin shot a final-round 65 last August, beating his age by two strokes.

Champions Tour update

Kenny Perry never broke through to win the big one while on the PGA Tour, twice losing in major championship playoffs. This season he’s finally figured it out.

Perry is the overwhelming leader in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points race on the Champions Tour after major victories in the Senior Players and U.S. Senior Open events this summer. In each event he came from two shots back to start the final round to eventually hoist the hardware.

“Why, after all these years?” Perry said after his five-shot victory in the U.S. Senior Open. “Here I am, [almost] 53 years old, and it finally came together for me.”

Perry is one of the favorites heading into this week, with 3M Championship tournament and 18-hole record holder David Frost in the conversation as well. Frost has two victories this season, including his first major at the Regions Tradition in June, and eight top-10s. Champions Tour rookies Duffy Waldorf and Rocco Mediate are others inside the Schwab Cup top 10 to keep an eye on this week.

For the fourth consecutive year the 3M Championship falls the week after a major. Perry, though, should be rested. He elected not to play in the Senior British Open.

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