Michael Thompson wins 3M Open by 2 strokes in Minnesota

Michael Thompson wins 3M Open by 2 strokes in Minnesota

BLAINE, Minn. — Michael Thompson birdied two of the last three holes Sunday for a 4-under 67 and a two-stroke victory in the 3M Open, finishing off his second PGA Tour win seven years after his first.

Adam Long took second after a 64. Richy Werenski, who shared the lead with Thompson after both Friday and Saturday, had a 70 for his worst round of the tournament and settled for a nine-way tie for third —- three strokes back.

Thompson finished at 19-under 265 at TPC Twin Cities.

Tony Finau finished in the third-place group, too, after a 68. He was the only one among the five world top-30 players in the field to reach the weekend, far outperforming fellow high-profile peers Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey.

Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., — the lone Canadian to reach the weekend — fired a 65 to finish 26th at 11 under.

Nobody throughout the windy and muggy week in Minnesota was steadier than Thompson, who entered the week 151st in the FedEx Cup standings and rocketed up to 39th on the way to Tennessee for the World Golf Championships event.

He deftly steered around the water danger on the 18th, landing his approach on the back of the green within 15 feet. With Long in the clubhouse, having played five groups ahead, Thompson had two putts to win. He needed only one, bending backward and thrusting both of his arms straight up in the air after the ball dropped in the cup in a celebration subdued a bit by the absence of spectators due to the pandemic.

Thompson’s best previous finish in this stopped-and-restarted 2020 season was a tie for eighth at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, and he missed the cut in his last start at the Workday Charity Open in Ohio two weeks ago. For this win, he not only secured a spot in the U.S. Open but a prize of $1,188,000, nearly 12% of his career earnings on the tour.

Finau was the only one in contention this weekend who’d already secured his U.S. Open spot, thanks to his seventh-place finish in the FedEx Cup standings last year and No. 16 world ranking on March 15 when the coronavirus spread prompted the three-month pause. The USGA rolled out special rules for participation in the rescheduled Sept. 17-20 major at Winged Foot in New York, after the pandemic wiped out the regular qualifiers.

In stroke play over the last four seasons, Finau has finished 35 rounds inside the top three, by far the most without a win on tour over that stretch. Tommy Fleetwood (20) has the second most.

Long, who needed to birdie his second-to-last hole in the second round on Friday just to reach the weekend, missed the cut on three of his last five starts out of the pause. He shot a 63 on Saturday, the low score for the tournament that was matched five other times over the four rounds, and posted eight birdies on Sunday. His bogey on the par-3 17th stood out, leaving his first putt short, but he picked up the second available spot in the U.S. Open with his second-place finish.

Defending champion Matthew Wolff was in striking distance after his birdie on the 14th, but he followed three straight pars with a six-stroke bogey on the 18th. His tee shot was well wide of the fairway, and his fourth try from the rough did not reach the green. Wolff finished at 14 under.

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More AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/golf

Dave Campbell, The Associated Press

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