Matthew Wolff (65) starts strong in 3M Open title defense

Matthew Wolff (65) starts strong in 3M Open title defense
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Matthew Wolff picked up right where he left off at TPC Twin Cities.

It was at this course last year that Wolff authored one of the most dramatic moments of the 2019 season, burying a 72nd-hole eagle from off the fringe to win the 3M Open by a shot. Now returning as a 21-year-old defending champ, he’s once again in the early mix after a 6-under 65 that included eight birdies.

Wolff was certainly glad to return to a course where he had great success in his debut, but after the round his focus was on what won’t be an issue during the second round.

“I think this might have been the best first round of my career,” Wolff told reporters. “I feel like usually I’ve been fighting to make the cut unless I have a really good second round. So it was just nice to go out there, shoot 6 under par and just know that tomorrow the cut’s not even going to be on my mind.”

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Wolff started quickly, with four birdies in his first seven holes, and added two more on Nos. 16 and 18 to reach 6 under. That put him in a tie for third, two shots behind overnight leader Richy Werenski.

Wolff largely struggled in the early part of this season, but he had another breakthrough last month at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he finished second behind Bryson DeChambeau. He added a T-22 finish last week at the Memorial, battling back from an opening-round 77.

This week he’s on the right side of the ledger after only 18 holes and eager for an opportunity to increase a strong position instead of making up ground.

“All I’m going to be doing is thinking about taking it deep and doing what I did today,” Wolff said. “I feel like that’s going to be a little different feeling, but I’m excited for it because I’m not going to be tense, I’m just going to be loose and do my thing.”

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