Something about golfing so close to home was good for Charlie Danielson last weekend. Perhaps he likes the climate in the Midwest or maybe it was because of the enthusiastic fans cheering him on at the PGA 3M tournament held in Blaine, Minnesota.
“Golfing in front of friends and family is really cool because I can feed off their positive energy,” Danielson remarked. “A couple times I had chills walking to the next tee.”
His success no doubt is a combination of a lot of things but Danielson continued his impressive string of events by placing in a tie for 15th at the 3M Open last week. It was the highest finish for Danielson in a PGA event in his young golf career. His previous best finish was a tie for 22nd place at the John Deere Classic.
“Pretty cool to do it an hour from Osceola,” Danielson said about his recent tournament experience.
The road to his lofty finish was not without a few bumps on the way. In his first round he was cruising to an impressive start going two under par for the first nine holes. He then bogeyed his 10th and 12th holes of the day before suffering a double-bogey on his last hole of the day to drop him towards the bottom of the leaderboard. Going into the second day of action Danielson was on the outside looking in as he hoped to make the cut.
Danielson birdied hole #4 and three holes later dropped in an eagle from 136 yards out. He went on to birdie #9 and #13 to put him five under for the round but he was still in danger of not making the cut. As the day wore on it appeared that he was going to fall one shot short of making the cut. The only way he would survive for the third day was if Cameron Davis would get double-bogey (or worse) on his last hole of the day. A betting man would say that the odds were not good for Danielson but shockingly Davis triple-bogeyed his final hole allowing the door to open for Danielson.
“I was playing great and I knew I was close to the cut line coming down the stretch,” Danielson said. “I was proud of the way I battled under the pressure and was fortunate to sneak into the weekend. When I finished my round I knew it would come down to one or two players and it certainly did.”
With the door open a crack Danielson barged through on the third day. His was one under par after the first nine holes but then went on what is perhaps his best surge of his young professional career. He birdied his 10th hole followed by a pair of pars and then scorched the course with a string of five straight birdies. He narrowly missed making it six straight ‘bird’ on his last hole but had moved up to 17th place overall with a seven under par 64.
“I was playing well but not making birdies, then finally it all came together and I was able to hit some shots close and knock a few putts in,” Danielson said. “The crowd got pretty loud when I started rattling off some birdies.”
Danielson’s last round was also exciting. He didn’t hold back. He birdied four of his first eight holes but also had a pair of bogeys to get to two under for the day and 12 under for the tournament. On the back nine he birdied holes 12, 14 and 17 to more than offset a bogey on 15. At the end of the pressure packed day Danielson carded a four under 67 to move to 14 under for the tournament and finished in a tie for 15th place.
Rookie Matthew Wolff eagled his final hole of the day to pass Bryson DeChambeau and win the 3-M championship by a single stroke. Another rookie, Collin Morikawa, tied DeChambeau for the runner-up spot.
Danielson no doubt will enjoy his impressive tournament for a while but he knows that he also has to look forward. He has a busy schedule in front of him.
“I have a PGA tour Qualifier next Monday,” Danielson began. “I then play at the Barracuda Championship in two weeks and then focus on the Canadian Tour to finish out the year.”