Fans who stuck around the 17th and 18th holes to see the conclusion of the 2013 3M Championship were treated to some magnificent golf, yet again.
Between Tom Pernice, Jr. snapping a 50-tournament winless streak by birdied the final two holes to capture the title or Jeff Sluman posting a final-round 62 (one stroke off the course record set three years ago by David Frost), golf fans were treated to some top-flight golf all three days of the tournament.
Pernice snapped a 50-tournament winless streak going back to 2009 and had two runners-up this season.
He birdied the final two holes – including a 45-foot putt on the par-3 17th – to move into a three-way tie for the overall lead at 6-under with Jeff Sluman and Corey Pavin.
That was before Pernice two-putted from eight-feet for a birdie on 18 and a one-stroke victory and a final round 68.
Pernice’s putter was working for him all tournament long as he salvaged a bogey on the par-4 14th hole Saturday with a 40-plus foot putt after his approach found the water hazard. He finished round two with birdies on No. 15 and 18 to reach 13-under through 36 holes.
Sluman played the final round of the tournament posting a 10-under 62 after matching rounds of 69 on Friday and Saturday. He opened Sunday seven strokes behind Pernice but came out on fire with seven straight birdies to tie the tour record. Sluman parred the par-3 eighth hole and birdied the par-4 ninth hole to establish a nine-hole record of 28 strokes.
His 62 matched his previous low rounds on the Champions and PGA Tours.
Pavin made a birdie on 18 to tie Sluman and Pernice, one group ahead of Pernice.
Pavin posted rounds of 65 and 69 before the final round 66 to record his fourth runner-up finish on the Champions Tour.
Kenny Perry tied for seventh place, tying Craig Stadler who rebounded from 53rd place after the opening round with rounds of 65 and 66 on the weekend.
Tom Kite came into the final round two strokes off the lead but shot an even-par 72 to end his bid to be the oldest winner on the Champions Tour. Kite won the tournament in 2004.
The par-4 Hole No. 9 was the most difficult of the weekend averaging 4.23 strokes while Hole No. 3, a par-5 was the easiest hole, averaging 4.63 strokes.
The Greats of Golf Challenge continued to be a major hit among the gallery as Tournament Director Hollis Cavner continues to find a new and interesting twist that intrigues golf fans to return to Blaine each August.
This year the addition of Team LPGA into the challenge brought together three legends including Pat Bradley, Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam.
Team LPGA and Team USA (made up of Johnny Miller, Bill Rogers and Dave Stockton captained by Billy Casper) each shot a 14-under 58 while Team Majors won the exhibition with a 16-under 56.
While Team LPGA had the largest following around the course and was captained by Arnold Palmer, Team Majors (David Graham, Lee Trevino and challenge first-timer Fuzzy Zoeller) made up the winning team that was captained by Don January and won the inaugural Miller Barber Cup.
Barber passed away earlier this year and was known as a founding father of the Champions Tour, making a combined 1,297 starts between the PGA and Champions Tour. He won 35 tour wins and was part of the tournament since its inception at Bunker Hills.
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