Hello again! It's been quite a while since my last update but I have a meaty blog post ahead about the 3M Championship. The 3M Championship is a tournament on the PGA's Champions Tour that comes annually to Blaine, MN at TPC Twin Cities. I've watched golf for many, many years but this was my first time covering it so there were some obvious growing pains as I shot but I feel by Saturday I had hit my stride after getting out on the course on Friday.
For this event I rented a 400mm f/2.8 because I knew I was going to need the reach, and it was amazing to shoot with and was great at first to walk around with but by Friday afternoon I was tired of lugging it around on my shoulders. I also didn't have a pedometer and didn't think to track my steps I walked on my phone but given the back and forth distance I would walk from the front nine to the back nine, I think it's safe to guess that I walked close to 6ish miles over the weekend, which I did in my regular sneakers...not my best idea. After I got home on Friday I went online and bought some shoes that were better fit for that amount of walking I'll have ahead of me for football season and for the Ryder Cup when it's here at the end of September.
Overall, this was one of the best events I've ever shot and I don't think I've ever shot an event where the staff and even the staff on the course were so friendly. Even though I was working 10-12 hour days it had this laid back feel to it all weekend. As far as shooting goes, the basics were pretty simple. Don't take photos during a golfer's back swing, especially when they're putting. Don't be directly in their line of sight and that was about it, I pretty much had free reign as far as what holes to cover and where I could go as long as I didn't enter the fairway while play was going on. I didn't really know who to follow since it was the first round of play and no one was leading so I picked a few groups with names I recognized and followed them around for a little bit. John Daly had the biggest crowd following him by far.
So Saturday rolls around and Glen Day was leading at (I think) -7 under par. By the end of the day Miguel Angel Jiminez was leading the pack at -14 under, so the course was being pretty friendly to the golfers all weekend it seemed like. Bernhard Langer was also in the mix for the lead as well and was threatening for the top spot all through Sunday.
Championship Sunday rolls around and to me, it looked like it was a lock for Jiminez as he was draining putts left and right from 10-15 feet out. Throughout all of Saturday he played all 18 beautifully and was on pace to do the same on the front nine, expanding his lead. I left to find Bernhard Langer's group as they were on the 12th hole at the time and followed his group for a bit. There was a point that was a bit funny to me, his ball was right on the edge of the water, but still playable so he took his shoes off so he could stand in the water to chip it back onto the fairway. I've seen this done multiple times on TV, but seeing it in person had me chuckling. Jiminez, meanwhile struggled on 14 where he putted for double bogey, although he birdied the next 4 holes to bring him at -19 under par, and a tie with Joe Durant. Jiminez was seriously an inch from winning the whole tournament on 18 after he failed to sink his long putt for eagle. They played one playoff hole (18) with Joe Durant winning, sinking a 10 foot putt for eagle.
Whew, long post but we're finally at the end. Thanks for reading! Football season is around the corner so I'll be covering Gopher football and hopefully Vikings, which means I'll get to shoot in the new stadium. Ryder Cup at the end of September!
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark II