Golf: Goydos wins 3M Championship; Beach competes in PGA Championship

Past champion Bernhard Langer rolls a long putt on the par-4 first hole in the opening round of the 3M Championship on Friday, Aug. 4 at the TPC Twin Cities. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskreutz)

BLAINE — Paul Goydos made birdie on the first playoff hole to outlast Gene Sauers to win the 3M Championship on Sunday, Aug. 6 at the TPC Twin Cities. It was the fifth PGA Tour Champions title for Goydos, who made his senior debut at the 3M Championship in 2014.

Goydos and Sauers each finished at 20-under after three rounds after playing in the final group with past champion Kenny Perry. Goydos and Sauers took a similar path to the playoff. Goydos made six straight pars before a birdie on No. 18 and Sauers also birdied the final hole after a run of five consecutive pars on holes 13 through 17.

But after returning to No. 18 for the playoff, Sauers hit his second shot into the water to open the door for Goydos and his first victory of the season. Goydos nearly followed Sauers into the pond, but cleared the bank by about a yard and two-putted for his clinching birdie.

The victory capped an impressive weekend for Goydos, who was 1-over par after 10 holes in Friday’s opening round — but he played the next 44 holes in 21-under. Included in that was a tournament record 60 he fired in the second round.

Goydos was 7-under through 12 holes in the second round before consecutive pars on Nos. 13 and 14. He birdied 15, 16 and 17 before making an eagle 3 on No. 18 to shoot a 29 on the back nine. He one-putted 16 of 18 greens and finished with just 20 putts for the entire round.

The strong finish vaulted him into a three-way tie with Sauers and Perry going into the final round.

Goydos earned $262,500 for his victory while Sauers took home the $154,000 runner-up check.

This marked the 25th edition of the 3M Championship, which began as the Burnet Senior Classic at Bunker Hills in 1993. The event has raised more than $25 million for local charities since its inception.

Beach competing at PGA Championship

Stillwater native Alex Beach teed it up in his first PGA Championship on Thursday, Aug. 10 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Alex Beach

Beach, a 2007 Stillwater Area High School graduate who is a PGA Professional at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey, was paired with Sean O’Hair and Kevin Na for the first two rounds. The trio was scheduled to tee off at 2:25 p.m. in Round 2 and then on No. 10 for the second round at 9:15 a.m., on Friday, Aug. 11.

O’Hair is a four-time PGA Tour winner with five top-10 finishers in 2017. Na recorded his only PGA Tour victory in 2011 and has eight runner-up finishes on tour.

Beach qualified for the major championship by placing ninth in the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver Resort in Oregon on June 21.

Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]