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After three rounds of the 2023 3M Open, Lee Hodges has managed to keep hold of his lead and goes into the final day of action at TPC Twin Cities with a five-shot lead. The 28-year-old is in a very commanding position on 20-under-par and anything other than a collapse on Sunday will see him earn his first win on the PGA Tour.
Looking to make life difficult for Hodges on Sunday will be the likes of JT Poston and Tony Finau who linger in second and third place respectively. Unfortunately for them, and everyone else with eyes set on the trophy, they are going to need help from Hodges if they are to be successful on the final day in Minnesota.
3M Open Leaderboard 2023
Lee Hodges (USA)
JT Poston (USA)
Tony Finau (USA)
Aaron Baddeley (AUS)
Sam Ryder (USA)
Keith Mitchell (USA)
Billy Horschel (USA)
Kevin Streelman (USA)
Tyler Duncan (USA)
Nick Hardy (USA)
Highlights from round three
Hodges extends his lead
For three days now, golf fans have effectively been waiting for Lee Hodges to falter and surrender his lead at the 3M Open. After two rounds, he had a four-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard with a score of -15 and many expected him to simply defend that score and lead on day three. Instead, the 28-year-old went out and attacked and got his rewards.
Up until Saturday, Hodges hadn’t bogeyed a single hole all week but that all changed on the second hole of his third round he carded a five on the par four, second hole. Instead of letting that get to him, he got his head down and posted another impressive round of 66. Across his back nine, Hodges found five birdies which have well and truly put him in pole position going into day four.
Last year, -17 was the winning score which suggests that a final round of even-par should be more than enough for Hodges to get his hands on the trophy.
It’s just golf.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 29, 2023
Finau refuses to go away
If there are any doubts about where the trophy is headed this week then it’s thanks to the presence of Tony Finau in third place on the leaderboard. The 33-year-old has carded rounds of 66,66 and 67 this week which should have attracted the attention of US Ryder Cup captain, Zach Johnson, particularly as Justin Thomas missed the cut in Minnesota.
Finau is the reigning champion here and has attempted to defend his title with great pride this week. One thing that will give him hope going into the final round is that he managed to overcome a five-shot lead on the final day last year with just 11 holes to play. This year he has six shots to make up but 18 holes to achieve it.
If the six-time PGA Tour winner gets off to a hot start and Hodges gets nervy, then you would be foolish to rule out another comeback win for Tony Finau at the 3M Open.
Baddeley and Ryder make the most of moving day
The two biggest movers on “moving day” at TPC Twin Cities were Australian, Aaron Baddeley and American, Sam Ryder. Both men sit outside the world’s top 100 but you wouldn’t have guessed it by how they both played on Friday.
They were the only men in the field to card rounds of 65 on day three and it has given them both an outside sniff of competing on Sunday providing Hodges doesn’t post anything under-par. The frustrating thing for Ryder is that his 65 would have been a 63 had he not carded an ugly double-bogey on the ninth hole.
Matsuyama fades away
One of the most disappointed players in the field right now will be Hideki Matsuyama. The former Masters Champion looked back to his brilliant best on day one but has since faded away into the middle of the pack. Matsuyama has rarely challenged for a tournament win this year due to inconsistency with his irons and that has once again been a problem this week.
The talent is very much still there and his game isn’t in complete disarray – he is still regularly making cut lines after all. A couple of tweaks to his game and we will see the Japanese superstar picking up trophies once again.
Updated 3M Open odds
- Lee Hodges – 1/3
- JT Poston – 13/2
- Tony Finau – 8/1
- Aaron Baddeley – 50/1
- Keith Mitchell – 50/1
- Billy Horschel – 75/1
- Kevin Streelman – 80/1
- Sam Ryder – 100/1
- Nick Hardy – 150/1
- Tyler Duncan – 250/1
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