Justin Suh, the 'other' college upstart looking to crash the PGA Tour, tries to catch up with his peers
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BLAINE, Minn. — Nursing a sore wrist but keeping his confidence intact, Justin Suh could smile Sunday at the 3M Open. Actually, the USC All-American began smiling on Friday when he made his first cut in a PGA Tour event. That’s not to say that he felt relief, though.
“You know, I’ve been expecting a little more out of myself, to be honest,” Suh said after carding a two-under 69 to finish with a seven-under 277 total, good for T-57 when he walked off the course. There was no telling if he would stay there. “It feels good, yeah, to make a cut but I’m just looking at this as one step along the way, and I feel ready to take it. Let me just say it’s better than missing another cut.”
Suh is among the quartet of college All-Americans who recently turned professional, joining Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland from Oklahoma State and Cal-Berkeley’s Collin Morikawa. Wolff and Morikawa went into the final round tied for the lead in the 3M Open. Hovland shot a final-round 64 at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit to garner some attention, and he was working his way into another good finish at TPC Twin Cities.
Suh, meanwhile, has missed the cut in all four PGA Tour starts this year, his last three competing as a professional. It didn’t help that his left wrist, which he had taped every day, was bothering him starting two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship. It is beginning to feel better, but he still taped it for precaution.
“I’m feeling fine. I’m swinging without hesitation,” said Suh, 22, a native of San Jose, Calif. “I actually feel like I’m playing well. Just a few bad holes last week that hurt me, and that’s all it takes out here. This week, a couple of really bad holes. That last hole on Saturday really hurt. I have to eliminate some mistakes.”
Suh was cruising along under par until the home hole, a par-5 with water down the right side running to the front of the green. He walked off with a triple bogey for a two-over 73. On Sunday, he had two bogeys and a double bogey at the par-4 ninth that offset six birdies.
With his day complete before noon, Suh was going to keep an eye on the proceedings at TPC Twin Cities, to see how his fellow California natives, Wolff and Morikawa, would fare in the spotlight of the final pairing.
Then he was heading to Silvis, Ill., for the John Deere Classic. Two weeks later, he has another sponsor’s exemption to play in the Barracuda Championship. The goal next week is a top-10 finish so he could earn a spot in the Barbasol Championship, played the same week as the Open Championship. He’s feeling a little left out while his peers are already making noise on tour.
“Yeah, I need a big week next week, get my name out there, too,” he said. “Those guys are playing great. I knew they could. I feel like I should be right there with them.”