(Reuters) – American Michael Thompson won the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota on Sunday by two strokes to claim his second career PGA Tour victory and his first in seven years.
The 35-year-old was solid throughout the tournament and didn’t buckle under pressure, sinking a 12-foot putt on the par-five 18th to seal the win under sunny skies at TPC Twin Cities.
“It has been a long time,” an emotional Thompson said after his round of four-under 67.
“I’m really sad my wife and kids aren’t here to celebrate this with me. I can’t wait to see them. Babe, I love you,” he said.
Thompson, who was tied for the lead coming into Sunday’s final round, produced his best shot on the par-four 16th, where his long shot from the greenside bunker landed a couple feet from the hole.
He made the birdie putt to retake the lead and never looked back, finishing 19-under 265 for the tournament, which was played without fans in attendance to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Fellow American Adam Long finished second after carding 17-under 267 for the tournament while nine players tied for third at 16-under including Tony Finau, Max Homa and Richy Werenski.
With the win, Thompson, who came into the tournament ranked 218 in the world, will now be eligible to compete at next month’s PGA Championship in San Francisco.
Thompson’s only other victory came at the Honda Classic in 2013. He was a runner up at the 2012 U.S. Open.
Next up for Thompson is the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis starting Thursday and then the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco the following week.
“That’s what makes this game so unbelievable is that we have to play for our job every year,” he said.
“To know that I have security for two more years and to get into all those tournaments … it’s just a huge bonus. I’ll have to get my mind right for sweating next week, but oh man, it’s just so exciting.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; editing by Richard Pullin)