Monday, October 2, 2023

Hodges’ final-round 67 at the 3M Open put an emphatic end to a career week culminating in a seven-shot wire-to-wire triumph for his first PGA TOUR victory at TPC Twin Cities. Hodges moves from 74th to 33rd in the FedExCup and is exempt into next year’s Designated events and major championships.

“Oh, he’s a rockstar back home,” says Jay Seawell, his college coach at Alabama who flew to Minnesota morning to surprise Hodges.

The caravan of supporters followed Hodges all 18 holes. They were there on the second hole when Hodges stuffed an iron to 5 feet for his opening birdie of the day. Hodges insisted there were no nerves. That was the first indication.
They cheered vociferously on the par-5 sixth as Hodges knocked a 3-wood to 12 feet and sank an eagle to take a seven-shot lead. He steadied with pars at 10 and 11. Then his gallery went wild as Hodges took that same 3-wood and hit it to 3 feet for his second eagle of the day on the par-5 12th.

“Those were two of the greatest shots I ever hit,” Hodges said of approach shots that set up eagle.

His most memorable shot might have come on the 18th, though. Hodges spent Saturday evening vowing to be aggressive. In his mind, passiveness cost him a chance at the 2022 American Express, where he was the 54-hole co-leader. If the two eagles weren’t aggressive enough, Hodges stuck his approach on the 18th to two feet for a concluding birdie. Not only had he won, he won by seven — the largest margin of victory on TOUR since Rory McIlroy’s 2019 RBC Canadian Open win.

Lee Hodges (Winner/-24)

  • Earns his first PGA TOUR title in his 65th career start at the age of 28 years, 1 month, 16 days
  • Collects 500 points and moves from No. 74 to No. 33 in the FedExCup standings
  • Moves from No. 110 to projected No. 54 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest position of his career
  • First wire-to-wire winner in tournament history and first on TOUR since J.T. Poston at the 2022 John Deere Classic
  • Becomes 11th first-time winner of the season and third in as many weeks

Final Leaderboard

Lee Hodges 63646667260 (-24)
Martin Laird    68686764267 (-17)
Kevin Streelman 64686966267 (-17)
J.T. Poston66666669267 (-17)
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