Local players miss out on the 3M Open fireworks

Brian Dwyer hits his first shot on the PGA Tour on July 4 at the 3M Open in Blaine. Dwyer, who lived in Apple Valley for several years as a youth, got into the tournament through a Monday qualifier. He missed the 36-hole cut.

Former AV resident misses 36-hole cut

It had been 50 years since Minnesota was host of a regular PGA Tour event, and a 20-year-old just weeks removed from college made sure it was memorable.

Matthew Wolff, the 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion from Oklahoma State, won the 3M Open on Sunday in his third professional start. He did so in spectacular fashion, making eagle on the final hole at TPC Twin Cities to win by one stroke.

It also was memorable but not as spectacular for Minnesota-born Brian Dwyer, who made his first PGA Tour start at the 3M Open. Dwyer, who lived in Apple Valley before moving to Texas at age 5, was done Friday after missing the 36-hole cut. Dwyer had rounds of 73 and 70, with his 1-over-par total missing the cut by four strokes.

Two double bogeys sank Dwyer’s chances of making it to the weekend – a 7 on the par-5 18th in Thursday’s opening round, and a 6 on the par-4 second on Friday (which was his 11th hole of the day). He birdied two holes in a row after his double bogey Friday, but had too much work to do to make the cut.

Dwyer, who played college golf at Southern Methodist, made it to the 3M Open after tying for third in a Monday qualifier at Victory Links in Blaine. He shot 7-under 64 in the qualifier, then had to sweat out a three-way playoff for two spots in the tournament. He got his spot by birdieing the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.

It was Dwyer’s fourth attempt to Monday qualify for a PGA Tour event this season. He has status on the Mackenzie Tour, the PGA Tour’s Canadian satellite circuit, and has two top-10 finishes this season on the All Pro Tour, a minitour based in the southern United States. He is 2,043rd in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Wolff, 20, who got a sponsor’s exemption to the 3M Open, shot 69, 67, 62 and 65 for a 263 total, 21 under par. He won by one stroke over Bryson DeChambeau, who eagled the 18th hole to finish at 20 under, and fellow tour rookie Collin Morikawa, who played with Wolff in the final group and missed his own eagle putt that would have forced a playoff.

Wolff is the seventh player since 1960 to win a PGA Tour event before his 21st birthday. The other six all went on to win at least three major championships.

Another former Minnesotan, PGA Tour veteran Troy Merritt, tied for seventh at 16 under after shooting 68 in the final round. Merritt played high school golf at Spring Lake Park and started his college golf career at Winona State before transferring to Boise State.

Alexandria native Tom Lehman, 60 and a five-time PGA Tour winner, tied for 58th at 7 under. Lehman, who consulted with Arnold Palmer on the original TPC Twin Cities design, was brought in last year to supervise changes to the course to make it suitable for a PGA Tour event.

Wayzata native and Deephaven resident Tim Herron had a hole-in-one on the eighth hole in Thursday’s round, but shot 73 and 74 to miss the cut. Club professional Craig Brischke of Forest Lake shot 82 and 78. Brischke, 57, earned a spot in the tournament by winning the Minnesota PGA Professional Championship in August 2018.

The 3M Open marks the return of an annual PGA Tour stop to Minnesota since 1969, when the Minnesota Classic was held for the final time. Several men’s major championships – two U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships – came to Minnesota in the interim, as well as the 2016 Ryder Cup.

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