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Justin Thomas highlights 3M Open field

For a tournament scheduled for the week after a major championship is played in England, the 3M Open features a relatively strong field for a non-elevated PGA Tour event.

Eleven of the top 45 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are set to tee it up in Blaine next week, although players can withdraw at any point. That number is a big spike from a year ago, when just five top-50 players competed in Minnesota.

Included in that group of top players is Justin Thomas, one of golf’s preeminent superstars, who will make his first-ever trek to TPC Twin Cities.

The two-time major champion and No. 20 players in the world committed to the event after shooting a disappointing 82 in the first round of The Open on Thursday. Thomas went on to miss the 36-hole cut in the major championship, and needs to secure points in at least one of the final two PGA Tour events of the regular season this summer to climb from his current FedExCup position of 75 and into the top 70 to reach the playoffs.

There have been a few recent signs of life for Thomas’ game. He logged a top 10 at the Travelers Championship, an elevated event, late last month and shot an even-par round Friday in difficult conditions at The Open.

“I played really well today. It was very, very tough out there. I used today as a good opportunity to get ready for next week, and I felt like I did that. The golf in Minnesota is obviously slightly different than here in Liverpool,” Thomas told reporters after the round. “But I’m hitting a lot of good shots. I’m just making so many bonehead mistakes and crazy things happening. I’ll be fine.”

Thomas is also attempting to prove to Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson that he is deserving of a roster spot for the US for this fall’s competition in France. He noted his track record in that event speaks for itself. The same is true for his overall body of work.

“I mean, everybody has their waves, their kind of momentum and rides and rock bottoms, whatever you want to call it. I just keep telling myself, this is it, I’m coming out of it, and unfortunately I have surprised myself a couple of times with some bad rounds,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t mean a day’s good play like (Friday) doesn’t get a kick going. I don’t know. All I can do is try to be in the frame of mind for it, too.”

Sahith Theegala, the No. 35 player in the world, was also a late commit to the 3M Open. Theegala and Tony Finau join Thomas on the list of notable names of players who missed the cut at this week’s major who will be on the charter to Minnesota.

But there are also players in contention this weekend who are slated to tee it up in Blaine — names such as Sepp Straka, who won the John Deere Classic earlier this month and is currently third at The Open. Emiliano Grillo and Cameron Young are tied for seventh, while Nicolai Hojgaard is tied for 11th.

Below is a list of the players ranked in the top 60 of the World Golf Rankings who are committed to play at TPC Twin Cities, along with a few other notables (world rank in parenthesis):

Tony Finau (16)

Cameron Young (18)

Justin Thomas (20)

Sungjae Im (23)

Sepp Straka (28)

Hideki Matsuyama (34)

Sahith Theegala (35)

Tom Hoge (38)

Emiliano Grillo (41)

Ryan Fox (42)

Billy Horschel (45)

JT Poston (52)

KH Lee (53)

Cameron Davis (55)

Adam Hadwin (57)

Matt Kuchar (60)

Akshay Bhatia

Nicolai Hojgaard

Ludwig Aberg

Gary Woodland

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