Thompson, Werenski share lead at 3M Open at 12 under

Thompson, Werenski share lead at 3M Open at 12 under

Thompson, Werenski share lead at 3M Open at 12 under

BLAINE, Minn. — Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski topped the 3M Open leaderboard going onto the weekend, Tony Finau and Talor Gooch climbed within a stroke and stars Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood struggled again Friday.

In warmer and windier conditions on the quiet, spectator-free TPC Twin Cities course, the scores crept up after Werenski led the first-round pack with an 8-under 63. The 24-year-old, who’s winless on the PGA Tour, followed up with a 67. Thompson caught him with a 66.

Koepka, at the other end of the board, was on the who’s-who list of players to miss the cut. The four-time major champion shot a 71 to finish at 1 under, pulling a birdie putt attempt wide right on the 18th that would have extended his stay in Minnesota.

Fleetwood, playing in his first event since the virus outbreak shut down the sport more than four months ago, posted a 72 to finish at 1 over. Paul Casey had a second consecutive 72. Dustin Johnson withdrew after a back injury and a rough first round.

The exception was Finau, the only one of the five players in the top 30 of the latest world ranking whose performance matched his resume.

Finau, who had an eagle on No. 6, saved two of his four birdies for the final three holes. On the 18th, he stayed away from the water that Johnson hit three straight times on Thursday and produced a downwind approach shot out of the rough that landed on the green about 5 feet away. He sank the putt to finish with a 66 at 11-under.

“When you shoot two rounds in the 60, it doesn’t matter how the conditions are playing. You know you’re playing good golf,” Finau said. “It’s been two really clean rounds for me. You can always build off that.”

Gooch, another tour upstart seeking his first career victory, posted a 65 to match Finau at 131. Xinjun Zhang is in fifth place at 10-under.

“Growing up in Oklahoma helps on these types of days, so I kept the ball low and kept it in the fairway, hit a bunch of greens,” Gooch said.

After playing in the afternoon on Thursday, the co-leaders benefited from a short turnaround. Thompson, who played in the first group of the day with a 6:50 a.m., moved even with Werenski on the 194-yard 17th hole. The 35-year-old Thompson, who has one career PGA Tour victory, landed his tee shot on the back of the green and then made a 20-foot putt for birdie.

“The big thing is just try not to overpower the golf course, stay within myself, make good, comfortable swings,” Thompson said.

The good ones just didn’t get any applause.

“It’s weird. Obviously I wish fans were able to come out here, but I would say I’m almost kind of used to it now. It’s been a few weeks of this,” Werenski said.

Defending champion Matthew Wolff was 9 under after a 68 in a bid to match Daniel Berger with the rare feat of picking up his first two PGA Tour victories at the same tournament. Berger did so at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis in 2016 and 2017.

Dave Campbell, The Associated Press

Golf

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin launches Whistle-blower Program

Whistle-blower program acts as anonymous forum to hold local government accountable

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Most Read