PGA: 3M Championship - DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau watches his putt on hole No. 16 during the second round of the 3M Championship golf tournament at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine on Friday.

It seems only fitting that Bryson DeChambeau, the biggest science geek on the PGA Tour, is the 36-hole leader at the inaugural 3M Open. He carved up the TPC Twin Cities course in Blaine on Friday morning, shooting a 9-under 62, a career-low round on the PGA Tour, and enters the weekend alone atop the leader board at 14-under 128.

“Well, shoot, when I got here, I thought 15 under was going to be the number (to win it) at the end of the weekend,” said DeChambeau, who shot 66 on Thursday. “Now I’ve got to reevaluate.”

DeChambeau will take a two-shot lead over Canadian Adam Hadwin into today’s third round. Four golfers are four shots off the lead, including first-round leader Scott Piercy, who followed an opening-round 62 with a 70 on Friday.

DeChambeau’s impressive performance at the 3M Open came a few days after touring 3M’s corporate headquarters in Maplewood. He spent two and a half hours there, geeking out about nanotechnology and the structural makeup of Post-It Notes, before returning to his hotel to mentally prepare for the actual reason he was in the Twin Cities in the first place.

Perhaps inspired by what he saw on his tour of 3M, DeChambeau already has started to pull away from the rest of the field.

Asked to scientifically explain his low score over 36 holes — and some of the conversations he has with his caddie lean that way — DeChambeau chose not to reveal any trade secrets, only saying it came as a result of a lot of practice on the driving range and on the putting green.

“My main focus is driving it as well as I have,” he said. “If I can keep doing that, I know the putts are going to drop.”

While he talked specifically about his driver and putter, DeChambeau was just as stellar with his irons throughout the second round. He attacked pins with his approach shots, sticking many within a few feet of the flag.

“Sometimes we get to a point with the golf swing where it feels like we do anything with it and it’s still going to go straight,” DeChambeau said. “That’s what we’re all striving for out here, and today I did it better than I have in the past.”

As impressive as DeChambeau was in the second round, he actually credited Piercy with putting everyone on notice by carding a 9-under 62 in the first round.

“Just kind of opened the floodgates a little bit,” DeChambeau said. “It was like, ‘OK. We can do it out here.’ And certainly me doing that today inspires me to do even better over the weekend.”

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