Tournament Wrap Up
The 3M Open Wrapped up on Sunday and we had plenty of storylines to follow. Entering Sunday’s round, we had Cam Tringale sitting at -12 in front of the field. Tringale was looking to win his first PGA tour event in his 307th Career start. Gary Woodland entered the round at -11, one shot back and looking for a bounce back win after some shaky play following his 2019 US Open victory. Sitting at -10, we had 7 multi-tournament winners including Major Champions Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker, and rising star Cam Champ.
As the day progressed, some of the names at the top faltered, particularly Gary Woodland and Cam Tringale who both shot over par final rounds. Others near the top looked to make their move, like Schwartzel and my pre tournament pick (at +5000) Jhonny Vegas. Both Schwratzel and Vegas could not get over the hump, with both making costly bogeys at the par 3 13th finishing 2 shots behind Champ. Our closest contestant to beating Champ was none other than Louis Oosthuizen. Louis started the day 4 off the lead and fired a wonderful 65 to finish -13. On the 18th hole, Louis fired a wedge at the flag from just under 100 yards, spinning the shot back and hitting the cup, with the shot barely lipping out. If that shot would have went in, he would have finished -14, putting more pressure on Champ down the stretch.
Champ Goes off on Sunday
Cam Champ started off his Sunday hot, draining a 20 footer for birdie on one. He followed that up with two pars before throwing an absolute dart to 16 inches on the 192 yard 4th for his second birdie. Cam cooled off for a few holes, failing to birdie 5, 6 or 7, which were some of the easiest holes on the course, but he did continue his momentum with pars. Things picked back up for Cam Champ with another beautiful tee shot on the par 3 8th. This one leading to a 10 foot birdie, his 3rd of the day. After pars on the tough 9th and 10th, Champ sniped one close from 90 yards on 11th for his 4th birdie. The 11th measured 460 yards from the tee, meaning Champ bombed one 370 off the tee. Are we sure this kid is human? I am not convinced.
Battle Through Adversity
Around the 14th hole, it looked like Champ was dealing with dehydration. Because of this, he looked out of it and like things may fall apart. He showed his grit on 16, hitting his drive into the greenside bunker. After blasting out to 14 feet, Cam drilled a 14 footer for his 5th and final birdie of the day. Stepping to the tee on the par 5 18, Champ chose chaos. After hitting 3 iron like 300 yards off every tee on the back 9, Champ pulled out his driver. And did he ever pull it, sending it into deep rough and behind some trees on the left side. His second shot got passed the trees, but not out of the rough. This lead to a lay up 3rd, and an important shot for his 4th. Water lurked short of the green, and a ball in the water would have ended with Champ blowing the tournament. What did he do? He casually rifled a wedge from 125 yards to 2 feet, tapping in the par for the win.
Consistency=Stardom for Champ
It has been an extremely up and down season for Cam Champ. He started the year off with 2 straight missed cuts, followed up by 5 straight made cuts including 2 top 10’s. As the calendar turned to 2021, Cam has entered 18 events, making 8 cuts, missing 9 cuts and one withdraw. He had missed 4 of his last 6 cuts, but was coming off a T-11 at the John Deere. Champ is one of the longest hitters on tour, as he averages 317.2 yards off the tee which is good for 3rd. The weak points in his game come from around the green, where he ranks 197th around the green and 201st in putting. If Champ can find a way to become just average in those areas, he can break out into a top player in the world. He does it in spurts, with this being his 3rd win before he turns 27, so lets see how great he can be.
With a win today, Cameron Champ would have 3 @PGATOUR wins at age 26.
He would be the 24th player since 1990 to win 3 times on Tour before age 27. 18 of the previous 23 went on to win major championships.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) July 25, 2021
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(Featured Photo Credit: USA News Express)
-Nick B (@Nick_Beezel)