This week marks the 24th 3M Championship golf tournament at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. For the first time since 2009 the event does not fall the week directly after a senior tour major. That means the field is full of top PGA Tour Champions players and they all should be well-rested while competing for the $262,500 winner’s check.
Here’s a little bit more on the players who will be competing this week.
1. They’re good
Kenny Perry is the two-time defending champion but he’s hardly the only one who knows how to win. Sixty-one of the 81 players in the 3M Championship field amassed a total of 311 PGA Tour victories in their career and 52 have notched at least one victory since turning 50. There are also 14 players with PGA tour majors and four members of the World Golf Hall of Fame (Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Colin Montgomerie and Larry Nelson)
2. They’re approachable
If you’re an autograph hound, grab a Sharpie and head out to the course. Players are super receptive to fans during the week, and there’s even a designated “Autograph Alley” staged on the hill behind the 18th green. Just don’t ask *during* a player’s round once the tournament starts on Friday.
3. There’s a local flavor
Four players have ties to Minnesota. Tom Lehman, a two-time winner of the Charles Schwab Cup, and John Harris were both all-America golfers for the Gophers in college. Lee Janzen was born in Austin, Minn., and Rocco Mediate spends part of the year living in the west metro with his wife, Jessica.
4. And a new flavor
There are 13 players making their 3M Championship debuts this week. The lot is headlined by long-hitting John Daly (you can’t miss him; just look for the large crowds and his neon pants). Other notables making their first start at TPC Twin Cities are Jesper Parnevik, Jean Van de Velde and The Mechanic, Miguel Angel Jimenez.
5. Bernhard Langer: Million Dollar Man?
Langer is a two-time winner in Blaine (2009, 2012) and has finished runner-up three times (2008, 2014, 2015). In his 21 rounds at TPC Twin Cities he is a combined 104-under-par. It all adds up to quite a bit of dough: Langer is $17,418.75 away from reaching $1 million in earnings in this event. A top 25 finish this week should seal the milestone.