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Tick … tick … tick …

Hear that? It’s the sound of time winding down, very quickly, on PGA Tour pros qualifying for a spot in the 2019 FedEx Cup standings.

With that thought firmly entrenched in the back of their mind, the pros will be teeing it up on a relatively unknown course for the second straight week when the Tour stops this week at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.

The course reaches a daunting 7,468 yards and is a par-71 layout designed by Arnold Palmer with a little help from Tom Lehman. Opened in 2000, the design incorporates water, water and more water as there are 27 bodies of water on property. That’s only fitting for a Minnesota golf course in the state of 10,000 lakes.

But the course is secondary this week to the PGA Tour’s form of The Chase. This week’s event will have players taking aim at the 500 FedEx Cup points that will be awarded to the winner.

With just a handful of events left for players to make it into the top 125 and earn a spot to play in at least the first FedEx Cup event, every point will come in handy.

Five hundred of them is a gold mine.

So there’s no better time than the present to make a move up the points ladder, unless players want an early vacation before the start of the 2019-2020 wraparound season.

Don’t believe us? Check out last week’s winner, Nate Lashley, who won for the first time on the PGA Tour as the last man in. He came into the event No. 132 in the FedEx Cup race with 251 points. Add in his 500 points for winning and he’s now comfortably in the playoffs, sitting 40th and also with playing privileges locked in for the next two years.

Talk about life-changing.

The new event in Minnesota will definitely have its share of star power with names like Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Patrick Reed headlining a field that will feature at least 11 of the top 30 in that aforementioned points race. But, forget those names for a minute. At this event, it’s time to focus on someone around that magic number: 125.

We’re going with a player who needs to perform this week or else — like Lashley. This is the ideal spot for a struggling player to steal a win. Warning: This pick isn’t for the faint of heart, those with dwindling bank accounts or those with common sense.

That being said, one player who would make a major breakthrough and move up dramatically in the rankings is Pat Perez (No. 105 in the rankings) at 80-1.

We know what you’re thinking: No way. Relax, we do have a couple of extra picks — some with low odds like Day at 10-1 and a hot newcomer like Viktor Hovland at 30-1 — but Perez could use a solid week to turn an otherwise mundane season into a success.

Perez has been battling injuries and has struggled since a T8 (Wells Fargo) and a T12 (Byron Nelson) earlier in the year but he’s giving it a go. He came back with a T57 at the Memorial in early June. It’s getting to the now-or-never point for Perez.

With this being a new venue to most of the field, this might be his time — if he can stay healthy and if he can keep his legendary temper in check.

And believe us, both of those last two factors could certainly come into play.

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About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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