3M Open Golf

Troy Merritt tees off on the 18th hole during the third round of the 3M Open golf tournament in Blaine, Minn., Saturday, July 6, 2019. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

A passionate crowd following at the inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine July 4-7 was able to save some of its biggest cheers for hometown favorite and Spring Lake Park graduate Troy Merritt.

Merritt was a factor until the end of a tightly-contested title race, finishing in a tie for seventh place at 16 under par. He holed a 53-foot birdie on 16 during the final round to move within a shot of the lead, one of the top moments of the weekend.

After an opening round 1 under 70, Merritt came up with rounds of 64 and 66 to pave the path for his eventual top-10 finish.

Course mastermind thrives in home state

Minnesota native Tom Lehman, a former World No. 1, Ryder Cup captain and major champion, helped redesign the course to strengthen it for the transition from Champions Tour to PGA Tour event.

Lehman thrilled the crowd with an opening round 67 and backed it up with a 69 and a 68 before closing with a 73 for a final score of 7 under, good for 58th place.

Koepka places 65th, Day ties for 66th

Lehman’s finish was a stroke ahead of the world’s top-ranked Brooks Koepka, who finished 65th with a final score of 6 under. World No. 18 Jason Day tied for 66th place at 5 under.

Mickelson misses cut

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson missed the cut at 5 over after two rounds.

Herron aces history

Another Minnesotan produced a historic moment on the opening day of the tournament as Tim Herron hit the first ace on No. 8.

From cutline to top 10

Sitting on the cutline following the second round, Lucas Glover made the most of making it to the weekend.

Glover shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday, then turned in Sunday’s best round of 62 to tie for seventh place overall.

Piercy opens fast, settles for 15th

Scott Piercy was the leader after the opening round of the tournament, sinking nine birdies without a bogey for a 9-under 62 and a two-shot lead.

Piercy shot 1 under in round two to remain in contention in a tie for third place, two back of Adam Hadwin and four behind Bryson DeChambeau.

Piercy closed with consecutive rounds of 69 to tie for 15th place.

PGA back in Minnesota

The 3M Open marked the first nonmajor PGA TOUR event in Minnesota since the 1969 Minnesota Golf Classic. Minnesota also was the site of the 2016 Ryder Cup and the 2009 PGA Championship, both at Hazeltine National in Chaska.

Fairytale winner just misses cut

Nate Lashley, last week’s winner of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which also a new PGA TOUR event, missed the cut by three strokes.

Lashley was the final qualifier at the Rocket Mortgage before going on to win by six strokes.

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