3M Open: Lee Hodges takes one-shot lead while Justin Thomas sits six shots back


Lee Hodges takes one shot lead after opening day of 3M Open after shooting a round of 63; defending champion Tony Finau sits tied for ninth on five under following a round of 66; two-time major champion Justin Thomas is six shots off the lead as he looks to make a late Ryder Cup push

        3M Open: Lee Hodges takes one-shot lead while Justin Thomas sits six shots back

Highlights from the first round of the 3M Open from TPC Twin Cities in Blaine

Lee Hodges, after missing the cut in three of his last four events, shot a bogey-free, eight-under-par 63 to hold the lead at the 3M Open when play was suspended on Thursday in Blaine, Minnesota.

Twenty-one players were still on the course when play was called for the night due to inclement weather. They will complete their rounds on Friday morning.

Hodges, 28, is seeking his first win on the PGA Tour since joining full-time in 2022.

He started on the back nine at TPC Twin Cities with three straight birdies en route to a four-under 32, then added birdies at holes one, two, six and seven for eight in total.

On his first hole, the par-four 10th, Hodges hit his approach shot 132 yards to three inches from the cup. The next hole concluded with his putt of 32 feet, seven inches for birdie.

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“I’ve been getting off to some poor starts, which I wish I knew why. I’d fix it if I knew,” Hodges said. “Yeah, today was great. To see that wedge shot go to an inch on the first hole and then make that 40-footer on the second hole, I was like, all right, here we go, might as well make a lot of birdies if we’re gonna make a couple.”

A four-way tie for second at seven-under 64 features Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Tyler Duncan and Kevin Streelman.

Matsuyama also went bogey-free with seven birdies.

“Overall, it was a really good ball-striking round, especially my iron play,” Matsuyama said. “It got really hot out there on the back nine.”

Snedeker and Duncan also steered clear of bogeys. Streelman bogeyed the 10th and carded an eagle in closing at the par-five 18th hole.

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Justin Suh, Nick Hardy and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo shot six-under 65 to form a tie for sixth.

Defending champion Tony Finau is in a group of nine players tied for ninth at five-under 66. Finau began on the back nine and went birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, par, birdie to get to six under in five holes. The eagle on the par-five, 583-yard 12th hole came on a 49-foot putt.

He said after the round that it is “incredibly hard” to keep up that pace.

“I would have shot 53 I think if I had continued on the round I was going,” Finau said. “Not quite the case.”

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Finau bogeyed the par-four second and seventh holes before making a birdie on the eighth to get back to five under.

“Well, I didn’t miss a shot for the first seven holes, really,” Finau said.

“That was a pretty hot start, it was a nice way to start my title defence this week and kind of calmed my nerves.

“It was a crazy day out there. I got off to a blazing start and felt like I couldn’t miss a shot, couldn’t miss a putt. Then I missed some putts, missed some shots and I ended up finishing pretty nicely at the end. It was a crazy day. As we know, this game can be that way. But I was happy just to post the score that I did for my title defence first round.”

Two-time major champion Justin Thomas opened with a two-under 69 on his tournament debut. Thomas is attempting to earn enough points for the FedEx Cup Playoffs as well as Ryder Cup consideration.

        3M Open: Lee Hodges takes one-shot lead while Justin Thomas sits six shots back

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