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Cameron Champ is the 3M Open champ after fighting off dehydration on back-nine

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Published in Golf
Sunday, 25 July 2021 12:35

BLAINE, Minn. — Cameron Champ fended off dehydration and crisply putted his way to a 5-under 66 on Sunday, winning the 3M Open by two strokes for his third career victory.

The 26-year-old Champ had five birdies in a bogey-free round to finish at 15-under 269 at TPC Twin Cities. Louis Oosthuizen, Jhonattan Vegas and Charl Schwartzel tied for second.

Oosthuizen shot 66, too, in a much stronger finish than the previous weekend at the British Open, where his 54-hole lead turned into a tie for third after a fourth-round 71.

Playing six pairs ahead of Champ, Oosthuizen birdied three of the last four holes to give himself an outside chance. His approach to the 18th green almost yielded an eagle on the PGA Tour’s hardest par-5 hole, but the ball lipped out. He made a 2 1/2 foot putt for birdie instead. Schwartzel, his fellow South African, posted a 68 to match Vegas in the final round.

During another 90-degree day, Champ was far from his physical best. He felt some dizziness along the back nine, putting his hands on his knees at one point as he hung his head to try to regain some composure. He had plenty of it on the last hole, after his safe strategy with the tee shot to stay away from the lake landed way left in a trampled, sandy area directly behind a clump of trees.

Champ managed to chip out onto the primary rough, then scoot up the fairway. His approach was a beauty that landed perfectly and rolled back toward the pin. He sank the easy par putt and had enough energy to pump his arms in celebration of his first top-10 finish of the year. Champ had the best putting performance of the entire field, with an average of 8.48 strokes gained.

The Texas A&M product won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2019, the year he turned pro, and the Safeway Open in 2020. He missed the cut in his last two majors this season and hadn’t had a top-10 finish since tying for eighth in October in the Zozo Championship in California.

Champ entered the week in 142nd place in the FedEx Cup standings, getting a big bump with three events to go before the playoffs.

Cameron Tringale, a one-stroke leader after the third round, took a triple bogey on the par-3 13th hole right after consecutive birdies had brought him back into contention. He shot 74 and finished six strokes behind Champ.

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