Lee Hodges claims 3M Open as calamitous finish costs PGA Tour pro $422,500!

Lee Hodges claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.

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Sun, 30 Jul 2023
Lee Hodges claims 3M Open as calamitous finish costs PGA Tour pro $422,500!

Lee Hodges claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory at the 3M Classic

Hodges had to overcome late nerves to take the title at TPC Twin Cities.

The 28-year-old finished on 24-under, seven clear of Martin Laird, Kevin Streelman and J.T. Poston. 

Hodges began his final round with a four-stroke lead and quickly increased that advantage on the field thanks to birdies at No. 2 and an eagle at No. 5. 

The tour pro muscled his golf ball onto the fifth green in two strokes before rolling in his eagle putt from 11 feet.

After turning in 2-under 33, Hodges looked as if he was going to have a stress-free finish after making another eagle at 12, this time stuffing his approach from 257 yards to 2ft 8ins. 


Hodges then threatened to unravel, making two bogeys in a three-hole stretch from 15.

He pushed his par putt at the par-3 17th having found a think and juicy lie on the edge of the green with his tee shot.

It meant he had a three-stroke lead heading into the final hole.

With water looming right, he missed the fairway left and was forced to lay-up with a pitching wedge as his golf ball was above his feet. 

His playing partner Poston, by contrast, just about managed to stay in play with his tee shot. 

Poston had a three-stroke cushion over third place but needed to go for the green in two if he was going to have any hope of defeating Hodges. 

He failed to cover the water with his approach from 191 yards. He played a safe third shot to try and protect second place but from there it was an absolute nightmare. 

Poston missed the green with his fourth shot and his par attempt, from off the green, was also short. Poston then missed a double bogey putt from 5ft.  

His triple-bogey meant that Poston tied for second with Laird and Streelman, meaning that putt cost him $422,400.

Poston told the media:

"I mean, at the end of the day it's not the way I wanted to end, but I had to try and give it a shot and see if there was some way I could make three there at the end and put some pressure on Lee.
"It was a shot that was going to be hard to pull off, but we weren't playing for second place. I had to give it a shot. Unfortunately, made eight there at the last, but overall it was a good week."

As for Hodges, he placed his approach to a gimmie and enjoyed the walk up the 72nd hole. 

He quickly embraced his college golf coach and wife Savannah Hodges in the immediate aftermath of his maiden victory.

Elsewhere Justin Thomas missed the cut and will need a good showing at next week's Wyndham Championship if he is to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.

His Ryder Cup spot may now be in jeopardy given his form.  

Defending champion Tony Finau finished T-7.

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