It’s that time of year when our attention is split by the Atlantic Ocean. On the other side from where I currently am, you have an Irish Open at one of the elite courses in the world at Lahinch and a fun leaderboard for the weekend. Over here, you have a 3M Open in Minnesota with a top-10 player in the world poised to run away with the trophy.
Let’s take a look at three things I’ll be looking for over the next two days.
1. Eddie Pepperell’s biggest W? The Englishman sits in second at 8 under after two days of play at Lahinch. He has two European Tour wins under his belt, but he lost in a playoff at the 2015 Irish Open. Following a 65-67 start on the coast of Ireland, hopefully Pepperell gets some better sleep on Friday and Saturday evening as he heads into the 36-hole closing kick.
“I’ve actually been woken up the last couple nights at 3 a.m. by the locals, so I’m going to go buy myself some earplugs and try and get some more sleep,” Pepperell said after his round on Friday. “Noisy, they’re noisy around here. I get the feeling they like to drink a lot.”
Related: If you can’t root for Pepperell, why root at all?
2. Bryson flexing at TPC Twin Cities: The No. 8 player in the world — Bryson DeChambeau — has had a quiet 2019. He has just one top 10 on the PGA Tour since finishing in the top 10 in both Hawaii events way back in January, and that top 10 came two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship. However, after a bogey-free first 36 holes at the 3M Open, he’s up big on the field. Whether he wins or loses, DeChambeau is always a content-machine, and I can’t wait to see what he produces this weekend.
3. Young bucks surging: They aren’t near the lead, but Collin Morikawa (-8) and Viktor Hovland (-7) are both in the top 25 on the leaderboard and playing for a lot more than cash this weekend as they try and somehow earn their PGA Tour cards for 2019-20. Hovland leads the field in driving (again), and Morikawa has been phenomenal from tee to green. Neither is putting well at all. That’s how I like to see two youngsters get the job done because if the putter gets hot, it’s game on for either one.