25th 3M Championship
What: The 17th of 27 events on the PGA Tour Champions 2017 schedule.
When: Practice rounds and pro-ams Monday-Thursday; 54-hole tournament Friday-Sunday.
Where: TPC Twin Cities in Blaine (par 72).
Tickets: General admission all week is free.
Parking: Free (including shuttle service) at the Anoka County Airport.
Purse: $1.75 million ($262,500 to the winner).
TV: Golf Channel (8-10 p.m. Friday, tape-delayed; 3-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).
Defending champion: Joe Durant (19-under 197; won in a playoff over Miguel Angel Jimenez).
Tournament 54-hole record: 191 (25 under) by David Frost in 2010.
Tournament 18-hole record: 61 (by Kenny Perry in Round 2 in 2015 and Frost in the final round of 2010).
For the first time since 1998, the 3M Championship went to a playoff, with four-time PGA Tour winner Joe Durant making a putt from inside 10 feet for eagle on the first extra hole to dispatch Miguel Angel Jimenez. Durant, trailing by four strokes to begin the final round, nearly let his chance at the title slip away with three missed putts from 3 feet or shorter. But he blocked them out and rolled in the clutch winner for his second PGA Tour Champions victory. It was another birdie-fest in Blaine; 64 of 79 players finished under par.
Counting the Legends of Golf team event won by Carlos Franco and Vijay Singh in April, there have been 13 different winners in 16 Champions Tour events this season. Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron and Fred Couples have won multiple events. Langer won majors in back-to-back weeks in May, and over the weekend the two-time Masters champion from Germany pocketed a third major with a three-shot victory at the Senior British Open. Jack Nicklaus is the only other player to win three majors in a season. Langer, who turns 60 in late August, continues to be the cream of the Champions Tour crop. He has collected 33 victories in 200 starts since turning 50 — 10 of those victories coming in majors.
Jet lag ahead
Thirty-seven players entered in this week in Blaine played the Senior British Open in Wales — six time zones away. It's the eighth time in nine years the 3M Championship falls the week immediately following a Champions Tour major. Still, that hasn't affected the scoring at TPC Twin Cities. The winning number has been at least 15 under par in each of those years. The usual suspects are back for more low scores. Two-time 3M winners Langer and Kenny Perry are in the field, which all told includes 16 of the top 20 players on the season-long Charles Schwab Cup money list. Among the 50-and-over newcomers expected this week are David Toms, Steve Flesch and Wisconsinites Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly.
Tournament organizers said there will be a tribute to golf legend and 3M Championship staple Arnold Palmer, who died last fall. His likeness is all over TPC Twin Cities, including on a large sign showing a shadowed Palmer giving his signature thumbs-up welcoming fans near the entrance. A trio of Palmer's famed umbrella logos adorn a ticketed pavilion area just off the 18th green. Expect plenty of Palmer stories when 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus returns to Saturday's Greats of Golf Challenge for a fourth year and plays alongside Gary Player and Lee Trevino. Fifteen other golf stars are expected to join the exhibition, which begins after the 3M leaders tee off.