After stunning win as a rookie in 2019, Matthew Wolff returns to 3M Open as defending champ
He was six weeks removed from wining the NCAA Championship as a sophomore at Oklahoma State and was playing just his third event as a PGA Tour player. But there Matthew Wolff was, standing over a long 72nd-hole eagle putt that could win the 2019 3M Open.
With the confidence and poise of a seasoned Tour veteran, Wolff sank the putt to claim his first win as a pro – and the $1.15-million paycheck that came with it.
A year later, Wolff returns to TPC Twin Cities to attempt to defend his title.
Click the video box on this page to see Matthew Wolff’s pre-tournament video press conference – in which he discusses his life-altering putt that won the 2019 3M Open, why it means Minnesota and the TPC Twin Cities course will always have a special place in his heart, and how life is different for him a year after his incredible win
In his pre-tournament press conference, Wolff joked he had a hard time figuring out where to park as he arrived at TPC Twin Cities for this year’s event – forgetting he needed to be looking for the defending champ’s spot.
"Got a parking spot right at the front row, which is usually a rarity considering my last name starts with a W," he said.
Once he found the spot and walked in, he was flooded with good vibes from last year’s win.
"I think as soon as I got on property, I kind of had all the memories of last year flowing in and I got a little chills walking in the clubhouse," he said.
They were the same sort of chills he got when that 72nd-hole eagle putt fell.
"I remember it with a bunch of fans behind me and it really just gives me chills every time I think about it," Wolff said through a wide grin.
"It’s always something that, you know, I see on the PGA TOUR – them posting Instagram photos of me making that putt – and just reliving that moment even a year later is still unbelievable.
"It kind of leaves me speechless. To win a PGA TOUR event is a dream come true and to win it like that? How I did? … it all kind of fell together perfectly. I’m really happy to have my first win here and hopefully I have many more."
Aside from the payday, Wolff’s win at the 2019 3M Open meant he could keep playing on the PGA Tour. Jumping straight from college and winning a Tour event is rare, but bypassing golf’s minor tours altogether might be even more rare.
"It is something that I do have to remind myself sometimes because, you know, as much as I might have missed a couple cuts or felt like my game wasn’t where I wanted it to be, I mean, winning out here so quickly is extremely difficult. I’m very fortunate for the opportunity
that I was given to play in this event and then not only to take advantage of it, but I feel like recently I’ve gotten some questions like have I played in Korn Ferry Tour events or have I played in like anything other than a PGA TOUR event and my answer’s ‘no’. It’s not like a
braggy or cocky type way, it’s just very rare for someone to do that and there’s very few people that have done that."
The jump-start to his career has carried him through his first full year as a pro.
"Sometimes, even if I’m not in the best frame of mind, I just have to look back and be like, ‘Dude, you’re one of very few that are out here at such a young age and have a PGA TOUR card, life’s pretty good’. It really helps me thinking about this tournament, that putt and just being here and how much fun I had. It helps me relive that moment and go back to it if things aren’t going as well."
While his 2019 3M win was life-changing, Wolff says he didn’t go off the deep end once the winnings hit his checking account.
"I did buy a house, so I guess that’s kind of a splurge," he admitted, with a chuckle. "But that’s also an investment and that’s the maturity of me coming out."
"It was definitely nice to see that roll into the bank account," Wolff continued. "If I’m thinking about the money or thinking about anything else, that’s when I don’t play my best. If I just make sure to stay in the moment and try to play the best golf I can, I know like the money will be there, the world ranking points, everything like that is going to take care of itself."
Safe to assume as long as there’s a 3M Open being played at TPC Twin Cities, Wolff will do all he can to be part of it.
"You’re always going to remember your first win and to do it in the way that I did, it’s always going to be a place that’s really special to
"I’m not just saying it because it’s my first win. When I came here – even before the week started last year – everyone was just super nice and the employees were amazing, the volunteers, the fans. I just feel like everyone was really welcoming and I feel like I really like to interact with people and talk with people. And like I said, the people here were just really stand up."
Next time, he might even remember where to park.
"I mean, the parking spot’s great, but I think just the special memories that I have here are what makes this place so amazing and what will make me come back year in and year out."