June 18, 2018 07:26 PM
An official PGA Tour stop will begin in 2019 at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.
Longtime organizers of the 3M Championship will run the 3M Open, which signed a 7-year deal as a PGA Tour stop. The Champions Tour's 3M Championship will move from the Twin Cities to Sioux Falls.
3M Championship and 3M Open Executive Director Hollis Cavner said he first pitched Minnesota to the PGA Tour eight years ago.
"(The PGA) came to us a couple years ago and it became a question of when, not if," Cavner said.
"We'll be one of the biggest events on Tour within a couple years," Cavner added. "When we show 'Minnesota Nice' it's going to play very, very well."
Cavner expects the event to host most of the PGA Tour's top players. "We have done our research. We know the players will want to come here and play," he said, noting representatives for several players - notably Rory McIlroy - had already contacted him to congratulate him on landing the event.
The PGA Tour will announce the date of the inaugural 3M Open as part of the 2019 PGA Tour schedule release on July 20.
With two existing events moving to the fall portion of the schedule, the PGA Tour has two vacancies in play for the 3M Open that are in the prime portion of the schedule. The Houston Open departed the week prior to the U.S. Open in early June, and the Greenbrier Classic is leaving the week that includes the Fourth of July.
A source told KSTP Sports the Fourth of July spot is the more likely landing spot for the 3M Open.
The PGA Tour is also adding an event in Detroit for 2019, which will likely wind up in the other vacant spot on the schedule.
Cavner expects the event to be triple the scope of the 3M Championship - both on the course and in the community. He says his team will organize events, concerts and other community happenings in connection to the golf tournament.
"This isn't just going to be about a golf tournament," he said.
Cavner cited PGA Tour research saying events generate between $50M and $75M in host markets.
Paul Keel, 3M's senior vice president of Business Development and Marketing-Sales, joined Cavner at Monday's official announcement restating the Minnesota company's commitment to sponsoring the event, notbaly through the company's 3M Open Fund.
Tickets to the 3M Open will not be free as was custom at the 3M Championship. Keel said the goal is for the event to set ticket prices around the average cost of other PGA Tour events.
The 3M Open will be the first regular, annual PGA Tour stop since the St Paul Open and Minnesota Golf Classic at Braemar Golf Course in Edina in 1969.
It will be the first official PGA Tour stop of any kind in Minnesota since the 2009 PGA Championship, which took place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska.
The Ryder Cup - run by the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour, played at Hazeltine in 2016.
"We are delighted to partner with 3M for this new PGA Tour event in the Twin Cities, a community that has shown tremendous support for professional golf over the years with PGA Tour Champions, the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, and has deservedly played host to the biggest events in sports – Super Bowls, Final Fours, among them," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. "The 3M Open will also continue 3M's commitment to charity and positively impacting lives."
The 3M Open Fund plans to donate all proceeds from the tournament to local organizations.
"We've been able to donate millions of dollars to charity and we expect to do even more with the 3M Open," Cavner said in an earlier statement. "This is a true win for Minnesota."
Updated: June 18, 2018 07:26 PM
Created: June 18, 2018 08:20 AM
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