3M Open: Tweaks to putting stroke help leaders Scott Piercy, Sungjae Im
Both made wholesale changes before teeing off at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.
BLAINE, Minn. — Scott Piercy and Sungjae Im both carded matching scores of 6-under 65 in Thursday’s opening round of the 3M Open.
That’s not the only thing they have in common.
After struggling with their putting strokes as of late, Piercy and Im both made wholesale changes before teeing off at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.
Looking specifically at Piercy, he switched to a new Scotty Cameron putter, explaining that it has a square blade as opposed to the round blade he was using before.
“Just kind of like framed the picture a little bit better for me,” said Piercy, who made 151 feet of putts on Thursday. “I think for some reason it comes off hotter on the face. I have a tendency to leave a lot of putts short. Even though normally I don’t like to change, I was like, ‘Yeah. This feels pretty good.’ ”
Asked why he decided to make the switch, Piercy responded, “Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling. You’ve got to go with it.” He also got a new swing coach and a new caddie for good measure.
As for Im, he kept his same equipment and instead decided to change his technique a little bit.
He struggled with his putting last week at The Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland and decided to send a video to his coach in the immediate aftermath. His coach reminded him to focus on a straight back swing with the club face squared to the ball.
Asked if it was nice to have some reassurance after making 140 feet of putts, Im smiled and responded, “Yes.”
Hideki Matsuyama stepped onto the tee box at No. 18 and promptly flew his drive into the water. He frustratingly took a drop, then with the ball below his feet, he tried to carry the massive lake that guards the green.
After dropping again in the same spot, Matsuyama found the water once more before finally managing to plop his ball into the rough behind the green. He nearly holed out for a triple bogey before tapping in for quadruple-bogey 9.
Not surprisingly, Matsuyama ended his round near the bottom of the leader board. He finished with a 6-over 77 on Thursday and opted to withdraw from the tournament.
Mardy Fish entered the 3M Open with a lot of fanfare. The former professional tennis star from Edina, Minnesota was making history as the first person to compete on the ATP Tour and the PGA Tour.
It was a great story in the lead up to the 3M Open, and while the 40-year-old didn’t expect to compete for the title, he had his eye on making the cut. That’s going to be all but impossible for Fish after he opened with a 10-over 81 on Thursday. He will tee off at 2:12 p.m. Friday alongside Chase Seiffert and Seth Reeves.
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