PGA coming to Minnesota

Susie Jones

It's coming! PGA's 3M Open starts seven-year run in 2019

Listen to Tom Lehman discuss possible changes at TPC-Blaine

June 18, 2018 - 6:49 am
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For the first time in half-a-century, the PGA is staging a regular tour event in Minnesota.

It was announced Monday morning that a seven-year agreement was reached to hold the 3M Open at the TPC course in Blaine starting in 2019.

"I think it's great," said PGA Tour golfer Tim Herron of Minneapolis Monday on the WCCO Morning News with Dave Lee. "Hopefully, I'll be able to play. It would be great."

Herron, 49, has won four tournaments since playing his first event in 1994.

“We are delighted to partner with 3M for this new PGA Tour event in the Twin Cities, a community that has shown tremendous support for professional golf over the years, and has deservedly played host to the biggest events in sports,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. 

Dates for the tournament will be announced on July 10, when the PGA reveals its 2019 schedule.

“3M is honored to welcome the top players on the PGA Tour to the Twin Cities, and we look forward to the many opportunities this tournament will bring to support our community,” said 3M senior vice president Paul Keel (above).

1996 British Open champion and former Gopher Tom Lehman, who helped Arnold Palmer design the course, said changes are expected to be made at the TPC to make it more challenging for golf's top players.

"For the top players, it's kind of an easy walk," Lehman said during his appearance on the Morning News. "They'll just tighten the course up, narrow the fairways, build some new tees, create some different angles, grow some rough, firm it up."

Lehman, who has 36 professional wins and was USA vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, said it's quite possible that the yardage will be increased in time for the inaugural event.

"There's definately room, there's room for a lot of things," said Lehman. "The course wasn't built for a big championship. So there's of land out there. Plenty of room, plenty of opportunity to make things a bit more difficult."

This comes as the PGA is realigning next summer's schedule, with several events on the current tour expected to be moved to the fall.  

Since 2001, the TPC in Blaine has been home to the 3M Championship on the seniors tour, which officials say would be canceled if a regular tournament is established at the course. 

The 26th annual 3M Championship is scheduled for July 30-August 5, and is expected to be the final edition of Minnesota's seniors tour stop.

Next summer's pro golf schedule already has one event in Minnesota.  The women's P-G-A takes place at Hazeltine National next June 20-23.

The last time the Twin Cities was the site of a regular PGA tour event was 1969, when the last Minnesota Golf Classic at Edina's Braemar Golf Course was won by Frank Beard.

That ended a run that began in 1930 when Harry Cooper won the inaugural St. Paul Open at Keller Golf Course. The Open was held nearly every year until 1965, when it was renamed the Minnesota Golf Classic.

The LPGA had a regular tour event in the Twin Cities from 1990-98 under various names. Those women's tournaments were played at  Edinburgh USA Golf Course in Brooklyn Park and at the Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove.