Matthew Wolff finished with a spectacular eagle to claim his maiden Tour title at 3M Open – in just his third PGA Tour start as a professional
Just a month after turning professional, Matthew Wolff claimed his first Tour title in spectacular fashion with a final hole eagle at the inaugural 3M Open.
Matthew Wolff is fast becoming one of the most talked about young stars in professional golf. The reigning NCAA champion grabbed headlines for his unorthodox golf swing when he burst on to the scene, but the 20-year-old made sure his name will be remembered for more than that on Sunday at TPC Twin Cities.
In just his fourth start on the PGA Tour, Wolff poured in an unlikely eagle putt on the 72nd hole to claim his maiden tour title by a single shot over Bryson DeChabmbeau and Colin Morikawa.
The 20 year old stand-out college star only turned professional in June, but managed to card a six-under final round 66 included five birdies, one bogey, and the final hole eagle that will go down in the books as one of the most memorable finishes of the year.
“I’ve been told so many times before that I was born for moments like these, I live for moments like these,” Wolff said afterwards. “It doesn’t get better than this.
“I had a blast out there, and to make that putt was everything. You know, for me it was just kind of staying calm, doing what I do. And not a lot of putts were dropping today. I kind of told myself, you know, this wouldn’t be a bad time for one to go my way. …
“It was the most excited I’ve ever been. I’m usually not an emotional guy at all, but tears definitely came to my eyes when I stepped off and picked that ball up out of the hole.”
Bryson DeChambeau set the target with a final hole eagle to post the clubhouse lead at 20-under-par, and in doing so he ultimately passed pressure on to youngsters Matthew Woolf and Colin Morikawa as approached the 18th one shot back.
Wolff and Morikawa were watching on as his putt dropped, and both would have been forgiven for succumbing to the pressure. But if the 3M Open was anything, it was a showcase of the up and coming young talent on the PGA Tour, and both players rose to the challenge – setting up eagle chances on the par-five 18th.
“You’re the best long iron player here this week,” his caddie had told Wolff. “Let’s show these people what you can do. We could see everything. It was actually really cool – we could see (DeChambeau) make it, and then I said, let’s just hit this golf shot.”
“It was kind of a delay actually from the crowd roar to when I saw him throw the fist pump,” Wolff said later. “So, it was great playing by Bryson. He’s obviously one of the best players in the world and he’s proven himself. To be able to have a chance against him is awesome.
“But my mindset was kind of the same with that shot. I knew I was going to go for it… And when he did that, I kind of told myself … it would be pretty special to roll in an eagle and finish this deal off on 18. Kind of that little adrenaline boost, I guess kind of motivated me.”
Morikawa was the closer of the two, but it was Wolff from just off the green who claimed the glory as he holed his putt from 26 feet.
When his long-time friend Morikawa missed his own eagle chance to force a play-off, Wolff embraced his caddie Steve Lohmeyer and they cried.
“He was just telling me how proud of me he was,” Wolff said. “And it’s something that we talked about since the beginning of the week just being myself and I didn’t really say much because I was crying.
“But just all the work that he’s done has been really helpful and I really appreciate everything … and I’m looking to a great future with him.”
Wolff’s win was all the more surprising given that in three previous PGA Tour starts (one as an amateur), he had gone T50-T80-MC, the last coming with his missed cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Yet this week, everything went in his favour, and now you can expect to see a lot more of the entertaining young star: His victory grants him a two-year exemption on Tour, and a spot at the Masters in 2020.
Behind DeChambeau and Morikawa was Adam Hadwin in solo fourth, with Carlo Ortiz and Wyndham Clark tied for a share of fifth place on -17. Six players rounded out the top 10 on -16, including Lucas Glover and Hideki Matsuyama.
World No.1 Brooks Koepka finished with a one-over-par 72 to end up in 65th place.