BLAINE (AP) -- Hale Irwin will try to continue his dominance at the 3M Championship that opens Friday while looking for his first tour win in five months.
The three-day, 54-hole event at the TPC of the Twin Cities in Blaine will see 78 senior tour players chasing a winner's payoff of $262,500 of the $1.75 million purse.
Arnold Palmer -- one of the course designers at this TPC layout -- will probably play his final 3M tournament after six appearances. While making no official announcement about his future, Palmer continues to cut back on his schedule. Palmer has played in just four of the first 25 official events on the 2002 senior tour.
Eleven of the top 12, and 22 of the top 25 players, on the 2002 money list are competing. The name atop the list, Irwin, is especially familiar in Minnesota.
Irwin has finished in the top three in each of the last five years of the event. He won in 1997 and 1999; took second in 1998; and tied for third in 1996 and 2001. He's the tournament's all-time money leader with just under $765,000 collected in six years.
"This event ranks in the top three or four for me as far as senior events go," Irwin said. "There's great community and fan support, a strong sponsor and great marketing."
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