Michael Thompson landed the second PGA Tour title of his career Sunday when he held his nerve on the final day of the 3M Open in Minnesota.
Thompson’s win at TPC Twin Cities ended a barren run that followed his breakthrough triumph in the 2013 Honda Classic.
Birdies at the 16th and 18th holes took Thompson to 19 under for a two-shot victory over Adam Long, whose weekend charge was almost rewarded with trophy success.
Long made birdie at the last as he followed his 63 from Saturday with a 64 to reach 17 under, which at the time gave him a share of the lead as Thompson navigated his way through the back nine.
With the pressure on, Thompson made a birdie 3 at 16 and parred the next to go to the final hole armed with a one-shot lead.
His second shot over water to the green gave Thompson two putts for the title from around 15 feet, and the 35-year-old American drained his first attempt to complete a round of 67, sealing a first win in 167 starts.
A teary Thompson said: “It’s been a long time. I’m really sad my wife and kids aren’t here to celebrate this with me. I can’t wait to see them.
“This is so exciting. I played such good golf today. I stayed within myself, believed in myself, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Victory earns Thompson a ticket to the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, which he said meant “the world” to him, as well as a guaranteed two more years on the PGA Tour.
The leaderboard was highly congested, with nine players tying for third at 16 under: Robby Shelton, Charles Howell III, Emiliano Grillo, Alex Noren, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Cameron Tringale, Richy Werenski and Charl Schwartzel.
Werenski had been the overnight co-leader with Thompson but could only shoot 70 on the final day, his worst score of the week.