Dean Miller walked out his back door on the seventh hole at TPC Twin Cities and within minutes was able to snag an autograph from the number one-ranked player in the world, Brooks Koepka, during Wednesday’s pro-am tournament.
“They’ve been really good,” said Miller. “Most of them said they wouldn’t sign on the practice range but catch me when I come off the first nine (holes) and we will sign autographs.”
Eight-year-old Alex Wynia of Blaine showed up with his grandfather to watch his golfing heroes up close for the very first time.
“My favorite part of being up here is just seeing the golf course and how they golf instead of on TV,” said Wynia.
He also came out to see the action on the Wednesday pro-am, the day before the 3M Open began it’s four rounds of competition.
“I can’t believe how many people are out on a Wednesday!” said Koepka, a six-time Tour winner and four-time major championship winner. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that, especially at 7:00 a.m. I’m sure a lot of people got off work, so I think it could be a perfectly-timed event. It’s a great sporting town. It may be a fun week.”
Five-time major winner and fan favorite Phil Mickelson said he had fond memories of playing in the Twin Cities over the years, including majors at Hazeltine like the 2016 Ryder Cup.
“(Hazeltine) is just one of those moments I’ll cherish in my career,” Mickelson said. He said the fans in Minnesota continue to prove how much they love golf.
Judy and Lee Hatch of Mahtomedi hoped to catch a glimpse of Mickelson playing. They say they play folf as often as five times a week.
“We love it,” said Lee. “We’re standing here (on the green at hole number nine) and watching the ball come in from 300 yards, dropping on the green. It’s a little different than the game we play!”