Lee Hodges rode to his first PGA Tour victory on eagle’s wings.
The 28-year-old Hodges made two eagles while shooting four-under-par 67 to win by seven strokes over J.T. Poston, Kevin Streelman and Martin Laird of Scotland in the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn.
Most of the players in the field were trying to improve their positions in the FedEx Cup standings with the Wyndham Championship this week being the final event of the PGA Tour’s regular season.
The following week, the top 70 players in the point standings will play in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, with the top 50 after that advancing to the BMW Championship, before the to 30 after that will play in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
“It’s been just a dream week,” said Hodges, whose only previous pro victory came in the 2020 WinCo Foods Portland Open in the Korn Ferry Tour. “I have a tremendous team and they had a lot to do with me getting better, and it was just amazing to have all of my family and friends out here to see me get it done.
“I just did a great job of focusing on every shot all week long and not getting ahead of myself. I didn’t hit too many bad shots and I putted so well, although today I was a little overaggressive with my putter at times and had to make some long comebackers for pars to keep things going in the right direction.
“I’ve always wanted to be a really good golfer and I got it done by winning today. But I really didn’t think too much about winning until hitting that last shot into No. 18.”
Hodges, who led after each of the first three rounds with scores of 63-64-67, made an 11-foot eagle putt at No. 6 and a three-foot eagle putt No. 12 in addition to adding three birdies in the final round to post a 72-hole score of 24-under-par 260.
Poston, playing in the final twosome with Hodges, was three shots back on the final hole before nearly hitting his drive into the water, then he did hit his approach shot into the lake in front of the green and took a triple-bogey 8 after playing bogey-free until them with five birdies while finishing at 69.
“At the end of the day, it’s not the way I wanted to end, but I had to try to give it a shot and see if there was some way I could make en eagle there at the end and put some pressure on Lee,” said Poston, whose victory in the 2022 John Deere Classic was his second on the PGA Tour.
“It was a shot that was going to be hard to pull off, but we weren’t playing for second place. I had to give it a shot because we’re not out here trying to finish second.”
Streelman, who has won twice on the PGA Tour but not since the Travelers Championship, made a 20-foot eagle putt on the 12th hole and added five birdies in a 66, while Laird, who has won six times as a pro, sank a 21-foot eagle putt on the last hole to cap a bogey-free 64.
Dylan Wu, who won the 2021 Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour for his only pro title, birdied four of the first six holes and two of the last three in a 64 and was eight behind in a tie for fifth with Keith Mitchell, winner of the 2019 Honda Classic, who carded a second straight 67.
Defending champion Tony Finau couldn’t make a putt and had only one birdie to go with 17 pars in a 70 and wound nine down in a tie for seventh with Sam Ryder, who shot a bogey-free 68, and Aaron Baddeley of Australia, who holed out from 58 feet for an eagle on the 12th hole in a 69.
Cam Davis of Australia collected seven birdies in a 65 to finish 10 strokes back in a tie for 10th with Sam Stevens, who had three birdies down the stretch before sinking a 49-foot eagle putt on the last hole to cap a 66, and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who birdied four of the first eight holes and added three more birdies late in another 66.
Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo made eight straight birdies in a row through No. 16 and 10 in all while tying the course record of 62 and tied for 13th.
For complete results and FedEx Cup standings, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard