Forty-four-time PGA Tour winner Phil Mickelson will miss the cut at the inaugural 3M Open taking place at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine this weekend. Mickelson struggled through his opening round on Thursday, posting a three over 74, but many hoped he would find his stride on Friday afternoon and stick around Minnesota through the weekend.
His second round began promising, getting a quick birdie on the first hole, and cruising along at even par over the next four holes. Then, on the sixth hole, his tee shot found the water along the left side of the fairway. Despite a decent recovery and a valiant effort out of a sand trap on the right side of the green, Mickelson dropped a shot and fell back to six shots over the projected cut line.
Despite the writing being on the wall, large crowds continued to swarm Mickelson throughout the day, with fans taking advantage of every second they could to watch him play. Many shouted out, “Thank you for coming, Phil!” and “See you next year, right Phil?” while he was walking by which received many smiles and polite waves.
Phil bogeyed two of the last three holes but received rousing applause as he marched up to the 18th green to finish off his first appearance in Minnesota since thrilling duel with Sergio Garcia in a Sunday match for the ages in the 2016 Ryder Cup. It certainly didn’t end how Mickelson or anyone in attendance had hoped, but an opportunity to see one of the best to ever do it play in your home state welcomed.
Mickelson’s playing partner, Tony Finau, who has two runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour this year, traded birdies and bogeys for most of the day, but ended his round on a high note, snagging an eagle on the 18th hole, pushing him to eight under for the tournament and in a tie for 11th place heading into the weekend.
The group behind Mickelson and Finau, which featured 12-time PGA Tour winner Jason Day, provided plenty of entertainment throughout the day as well. After disaster struck on the 10th hole, where he hit his approach shot out of bounds and finished with a triple-bogey, falling three shots over the cut-line, Day went on a run to save his weekend, ending with a birdie on holes 16, 17 and 18, sneaking back under the cut line.
All of this, of course, comes after Bryson DeChambeau put on an absolute clinic during his early-morning bogey-free round, posting an absurd nine under 62 (!) and pushing his lead to 14 below par heading into the weekend. Despite posting two bogeys on the front nine, Adam Hadwin was able to birdie five of the last nine holes and currently sits in second place at 12 under.
One of the biggest names heading into the week was Brooks Koepka. He got off to a solid start on Thursday, making five birdies en route to a four under 67. What made headlines though, was not his play on the course. After his round, he praised the TPC Twin Cities layout — but lamented some of the conditions.
“The course is good. Tell you what, for as much rain as they’ve had, it’s held up really nicely,” he said. “You know, unfortunately, there’s a lot of ball marks and a lot of divots on the golf course, so it looks like it’s been played a lot, it’s had a lot of traffic over the last couple weeks, months, which is kind of unfortunate.
“But, I mean, the golf course, I think it’s one of the best we play all year. I think I really like it. It’s a place I want to come back to. I enjoy the layout and the setup of this place.”
Those “unfortunate” conditions almost cost him a spot during the weekend, too. After going two under on the front nine, Brooks went three over on the back, including a disastrous performance on the 18th hole where he posted a triple-bogey. Despite that, though, he slides into the weekend sitting at three under and will be one of the biggest draws for what is sure to be a big crowd.
Other notable performances from the first two rounds of the 3M Open include 60-year-old Minnesota native Tom Lehman who currently sits at six under, Scott Piercy, who held the lead after 18 holes and currently sits tied for third at 10 under, as well as Arjun Atwal, who qualified for the event on Monday, who sits tied for seventh place at nine under.
Additionally, Minneapolis native Tim Herron made the first ace in 3M Open history on Thursday.