3M Open: Fargo's Hoge gets back on track in return to Minnesota
Finishes 3M Open tied for fourth place at 13 under par
BLAINE, Minn. — Tom Hoge was reeling heading into the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. He had missed the 36-hole cut in six straight tournaments, plummeting down the FedEx Cup standings after an incredibly hot start to the 2021-22 season.
Luckily for Hoge, there is a level of comfort that comes with being back in the Midwest. Though he’s technically a native of Fargo, he might as well be a Minnesotan after winning back-to-back state amateur titles more than a decade ago.
“I love coming back here,” Hoge said after a solid opening round on Thursday. “I just feel comfortable being in the area.”
That showed over the weekend as Hoge finished the 3M Open tied for fourth place at 13 under par. What changed for him this week?
“I wish I had a good answer for it,” Hoge said. “It was nice to be close to home again. That might have played a part in it.”
No doubt his familiarity with TPC Twin Cities played a role in his success. He played the course many times in his rise up the ranks, which showed as he finished under par in every round this week.
“It was a good week for me,” said Hoge, who is currently ranked No. 16 in the FedEx Cup standings. “Hopefully I can build on it for the playoffs.”
It was a perfectly dreadful start to the 3M Open for defending champion Cam Champ. Which makes the fact that he finished the tournament at 7 under par that much more impressive.
That score seemed virtually impossible midway through Round 1 as Champ frustratingly walked to the tee box at No. 10 at 6 over par. Though he was clearly in his own head at that point, Champ slowly got himself back on track before cashing in an eagle putt on No. 18.
That gave him some confidence heading into Round 2, and while he struggled once again early on, Champ made birdie on his final three holes to make the cut on the number. He followed it up with a 4-under 67 in Round 3 and a matching 4-under 67 in Round 4.
Though he failed to defend his title over the weekend, Champ will try to take the positives from the 3M Open as he tries to get himself in position for the FedEx Cup Playoffs with only a couple of weeks left in the regular season.
After earning a special temporary membership for the rest of the 2021-22 season this past week, Joohyung “Tom” Kim still has some work to do to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season. He finished the 3M Open at 5 under par, which could’ve been much better had he not hit his tee shot into the water on No. 18.
With only the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the Wyndham Championship left this season, Kim needs to finish in the top 125 of the 2021-22 FedExCup standings to secure his spot on the PGA Tour next season. He has 327 points to his name after the 3M Open, trailing Webb Simpson, who is currently ranked No. 125 with 343 points.
No matter what happens over the next couple of weeks, the 20-year-old South Korean looks like a future star on the PGA Tour. He is the youngest player to earn a special temporary membership since Joaquin Niemann received the same honor during the 2017-18 season.
C.T. Pan closed out the 3M Open in style on Sunday afternoon, draining a birdie putt from 87 feet, 7 inches away to finish the tournament at 4 under par. That putt from Pan was the second longest made by any player on the PGA Tour this season, trailing only Graeme McDowell, who found the bottom of the cup from 88 feet away at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
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