DAY 1 RECAP
If any Champions Tour players are still jet-lagged after last week’s Senior British Open, the effects did not surface Friday in Round 1 of the 3M Championship. A total of 35 players shot rounds in the 60s on a TPC Twin Cities course in Blaine that averaged more than a stroke below par. Marco Dawson turned in the most impressive card, a bogey-free, 9-under 63 only four days after flying in from Wales and three days after claiming the final open qualifying spot. He has a one-stroke advantage over Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh, Jeff Maggert and Rocco Mediate, Dawson’s former college teammate at Florida Southern. Perhaps the most impressive score of the day, however, was 69-year-old Hale Irwin’s 4-under 68, the fifth time in his career he’s bettered his age. Langer’s 64 was his 30th round in the 60s on the Champions Tour this season.
HOLE OF THE DAY
No. 4, 177 yards, par 3
On a day prime to go low, at least the players had some challenge. There were only four birdies made at No. 4, the only hole on the course without double-digit birdies on Friday.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m a senior.”
— Vijay Singh, giving a blank-stare answer when asked what prompted him to enter the 3M Championship. Singh was eligible for the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship this week and will play in the PGA Championship next week.
UP AND DOWN WITH ROCCO MEDIATE
The 51-year-old is back at the 3M Championship, one shot off the lead in what he calls a “home” tournament now that he’s living part time in Minnesota.
Q Why stay in Minnesota?
A Two words — a woman [laughs]. But I love it here. The summers here are fantastic. I stayed a little long into the winter last year, the worst winter probably in the history of the state. We’ll continue to go back and forth [to Florida].