BLAINE, Minn. -- The future of golf is in great hands with as 20-year-old phenom Matthew Wolff leading the way.
That much was evident throughout this weekend at the 3M Open, starting on Saturday afternoon when he introduced himself to the rest of the PGA Tour amid a meteoric rise up the leaderboard, and finishing on Sunday evening, July 7, when he nailed a clutch eagle on No. 18 to take home the hardware.
“It’s life-changing,” said Wolf, who finished 21 under at the inaugural PGA Tour event at the TPC Twin Cities. “This is something that I’ve always dreamed of as a kid growing up. I learned a lot and to have it end like this was everything I could’ve hoped and wished for.”
Still, not even Wolff could’ve written a better script to secure the first win of his PGA Tour career, and maybe more importantly, his PGA Tour card.
In a back-and-forth battle that won’t soon be forgotten, Wolff played alongside good buddy Collin Morikawa in the final round, and both players went shot for shot down the stretch, creating a palpable buzz as they approached the clubhouse.
Meanwhile, proven commodity Bryson DeChambeau was trying his best to chase both players down, and he finally did so on No. 18 with a clutch eagle to the take the outright lead.
As the crowd roared, and DeChambeau let out a fist pump for the ages, Wolff and Morikawa both watched from the fairway in the distance, knowing exactly what they had to do.
“My mindset was kind of the same even after that shot,” Wolff said. “I knew I was going for it. My mindset was birdie the entire way, and when he did that, I kind of told myself it would be pretty special to roll in an eagle and finish this deal off.”
While there was still more than 200 yards, as well as a massive lake, separating Wolff from the hole, he stepped up and plopped his approach shot onto the fringe, setting up a 26-footer for the win.
“I was really nervous,” Wolff said. “I was shaking a little bit once I was behind the putt. I took a couple of deep breaths and that settled me down. I’ve been told so many times before that I was born for moments like these.”
Needless to say, he proved that, nailing the putt for eagle to take the outright lead back from DeChambeau, and letting out a roar so loud it felt like he was trying to let him hear it back in the clubhouse.
A few moments later, reality started to set in for Wolff, realizing he had just won when Morikawa burnt the left edge of the cup on his 22-footer putt for eagle that would’ve forced a playoff.
“It felt like with the way we were playing at least one of us was going to sink that putt,” Morikawa said. “I knew I had to put a good stroke on it and I hit a really good putt. I thought it was good from the start, and once it got about half way, I knew it was a little low.”
The rest of the moment was a blur for Wolff, and even 30 minutes after his victory, he struggled to put the feeling into words.
“That was something that changed my life forever,” Wolff said as tears started to well up in his eyes. “I’ll definitely remember that moment.”
So will the rest of the PGA Tour. In a span of 36 holes, Wolff went from being nothing more than a hot shot with a wonky swing, to a legitimate contender on the PGA Tour.
“I had no idea he was going to make that putt,” DeChambeau said. “Unbelievable to make that for his first win on the PGA Tour. He’s a great player. He belongs out here.”
That’s something Wolff has always felt, even before he turned pro last month, and now he can say it without a shadow of a doubt.
“I knew as I left college that I was going to be out here with the best players in the world,” Wolff said. “I was going to have to prove myself. And I did just that.”
As for what he’s most looking forward to now that he has his PGA Tour card, Wolff paused for a brief moment before smiling and responding, “The Masters.”