AUGUSTA, GA. – Hollis Cavner promises that the inaugural 3M Open will be not just a golf tournament but an “event.” And he’s not just talking about hiring the Zac Brown Band and lining the fairways with craft beer stands.
Speaking under the famous oak tree in front of the Augusta National clubhouse at the Masters on Wednesday, Cavner said he is pursuing Tiger Woods for the 3M field and thinks he has a chance of landing him.
Cavner is the CEO of Pro Links Sports and the driving force behind the old 3M Championship and the new 3M Open. He has already secured commitments from five stars: Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau. Adding Woods would be an unexpected boost to the field and the July 4-7 event, which is positioned right in the middle of a one-month gap between majors.
“If Tiger plays between the U.S. Open and the British Open, I think he’ll pick us,” Cavner said. “We have a great date. A lot of guys want to play two weeks before the British Open, then skip the next week and travel over there. We feel like we have a really good shot at him if he’s going to play that week.”
Woods has competed in Minnesota twice — at the 2002 and 2009 PGA Championships. He was a Team USA vice captain at the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in 2016.
Cavner owns a house in Augusta and has used it this week to recruit more stars. The agents and managers for the Zac Brown Band stayed at his home, and he has entertained the representatives of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose, among others.
Pro Links Sports runs a slew of PGA and Champions Tour events. “We’re having a great time,” Cavner said. “I think we’ve been able to get commitments from some great players because they know us. They know how we treat people at our tournaments.
“I know Tiger’s people, and they know we’ll do everything in a first-class way at the 3M.”
Woods has won 80 PGA Tour and major pro tournaments — second-most all-time, behind Sam Snead’s 82 — but only one since 2013 (Tour Championship, September 2018). Personal struggles and injuries over the past six years have only slightly dimmed his star power, though. ESPN ranked the 43-year-old as the 10th most famous athlete in the world earlier this year.
Cavner on Wednesday was shaking hands with passing dignitaries and friends before hustling off the course to find some shade under the tree. He just had the top of his left ear replaced. “I’ve got to be careful about the sun,” he said.
He has not been cautious when it comes to pursuing stars. He’s wining, dining and putting with their agents. Cavner has a putting and chipping green at his Augusta house, and he’s drawing a who’s who of the golf industry, hoping to lure the world’s best players to Blaine.