Golf: The 3M Open should get the lakes area excited for the CRMC Championship

How the 3M Open and the CRMC Championship are connected

Tony Finau drives from the 18th tee during the first round of the 3M Open golf tournament. Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

BLAINE — One of the many negatives the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the lakes area was the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 CRMC Championships.

A new Mackenzie Tour event for the PGA Tour — Canada the CRMC Championship was to be held in August in both 2020 and 2021 at Cragun’s Legacy Courses and be the first Mackenzie Tour event to be held in the United States.

The 3M Open Championship which was held at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine July 22-25 had its first PGA Tour event in 2019 after spending 26 years as a Champions Tour event.

In 2021, the 3M Open seems back to normal unlike 2020 which saw no fans due to COVID-19.

Walking with Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosethium and Bubba Watson Thursday morning crowds were in bunches and cheered for the good approaches and birdies made.


Behind them was Rickie Fowler who torched the course with a 7-under 64 to be the first-round co-leader. So, if a fan got up early, they could watch the No. 2 player in the world and the hottest player on the course in consecutive groups.

The CRMC Championship won’t have the same name recognition as the 3M Open, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be excitement.

Adam Hadwin, Roger Sloan and even Tony Finau all played on the Mackenzie Tour and were in the 3M Open field for this weekend.

Cam Davis, who is also playing at TPC Twin Cities for the 3M Open, won the Rocket Mortgage Classic, July 4 to be the eighth PGA Tour — Canada alumnus to win on the PGA Tour.

Overall, the Mackenzie Tour and PGA Tour — Canada have had 41 players graduate to the PGA Tour and next year lakes area golf fans could be seeing alumni 42, 43 and 44.

Another name that keeps popping up around both the 3M Open and the CRMC Championship is Minnesota golf icon Tom Lehman.

When it was announced the PGA Tour would be going to the Twin Cities, Lehman helped in the redesign of TPC Twin Cities which is an Arnold Palmer course designed in 2000.

The 62-year-old and 1996 Open Champion also played in the inaugural 3M Open in 2019 where he made the cut and finished tied for 58th. He also played in 2020 where he missed the cut.


Lehman wasn’t in the field for the 2021 3M Open and that’s mostly because he’s been spending a lot of time in the lakes area at Cragun’s Legacy Courses. He will have his fingerprints on the CRMC Championship as he is currently designing the 18 holes that will be used for the Mackenzie Tour at Cragun’s Legacy Courses as a part of the course’s $10 million dollar renovation.

Lehman was named honorary chairman of the CRMC Championship in 2020 and in a press conference in February of 2020 expressed his excitement of the PGA Tour — Canada coming to the lakes area.

“Whichever way you look at it, it’s a positive thing,” he said in Feb. 2020. “The community can really get involved and take ownership of this. It’s not too big where the average person doesn’t just think they are a spectator and it’s not too small that's insignificant.”

With Lehman on the grounds and the architect of what the pros will be playing in 2022, it should draw more attention and fanfare to the CRMC Championship.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Conrad Engstrom.

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