Kenny Perry rolled in six straight birdies to open his day, and Scott Verplank came within centimeters of matching that front-nine birdie streak Friday afternoon at TPC Twin Cities. That’s Round 1 in a nutshell, under picturesque skies that saw 30 rounds in the 60s and 45 players break par. Perry, a two-time 3M winner, shares the lead at 7 under with Mike Goodes. For Perry, Friday was his sixth time in seven appearances in Blaine he opened with a round in the 60s. Goodes is playing in his 11th 3M and has finished in the top 10 three consecutive summers. Verplank is among four players a stroke back. There is a five-way tie for fifth.
• Schwab Cup money leader Bernhard Langer opened with a 3-under 69 and is tied for 24th.
• Steve Flesch, playing in the day’s first group, shot a 5-under 67 and is tops among 3M rookies.
• This is the first time since 2012 there is not a solo leader after the first round of the 3M Championship.
• Tommy Armour III withdrew before the start of the first round and was replaced by Steve Pate, who shot 75. Russ Cochran withdrew after posting a 76.
Hole of the day
209-yard par-3 13th: It’s the lone place nearly everybody found fits Friday. The 13th yielded just seven birdies.
Quote of the day
“It’s a 20-under tournament and everybody knows it.” — Kenny Perry
Up and down with Jeff Sluman, the 59-year-old who holds the 3M Championship record for most birdies in a row (seven) and front-nine score (28) that Perry narrowly missed Friday.
Q When a player gets on a birdie run like you did or Kenny did, how much does the mental side take over?
A You have to make a lot of birdies here or the field will lap you. You know that going in. But when you make three, four, five or whatever in a row? You’d like to say you can block it out, but I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t. Sure it does. It’s human nature.
Q Oak Hill near your hometown in New York has announced you’re going into its Hall of Fame. What does that honor mean to you?
A I’m getting my name on a tree — which is how they do it there, and coming from Rochester, New York, it’s a huge honor for me. I’m very, very pleased. I still remember my dad taking me to the ’68 U.S. Open, my first time there. [Lee] Trevino won, Jack [Nicklaus] finished second. We parked on the West Course and the fairways were better than the greens I played on. My dad said, ‘Son, this is the major leagues.’
Q Anything in your wine collection that will be opened for that celebration?
A I have a lot of good ones, and they’re not doing any good in the cellar. I’ve got about two cases of really good quality stuff that we’re having for my 60th birthday [in September]. Wine is meant to be shared with friends on occasions. I bought a bunch of French Bordeaux in 1998 when my daughter was born, and someday we’ll open that up. She looked at the price and said it could pay for college. But we’re going to have some fun with it.