Tony Finau dominating once again, leads by four in Houston
Tony Finau is at it again. The 33-year-old is closing in on a third victory in 2022, and again doing so when not everyone is looking.
Finau showed us all what his best stuff looks like this summer during a torrid two-week stretch of July … but only after the major championship season had passed. And before the FedEx Cup Playoffs began.
Finau won in rather dominant fashion at the 3M Open the week after the Open at St. Andrews. He then followed it up a week later in Detroit, winning by five.
After years where Finau’s repeated second-place finishes on Tour built doubt about his ceiling, he was proving it this summer. Just during a stretch of the year when the best players in the world were taking a break. Many top pros went on vacation after the British Open. Collin Morikawa toured across Europe. Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler went swimming together during a vacation with their wives.
Finau’s wins, as a result of the many vacations taken above, came against weaker fields.
But did that matter? Yes and no.
He was adding to his win total and skyrocketing in confidence. But winning against lackluster fields doesn’t do much for your world ranking. Back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour vaulted him just four spots, from 17th to 13th. As far as DataGolf was concerned, their ranking taking into account the impressive nature of Finau’s play, he had proven himself as a top 6 player on the planet.
All of which brings us to this week, where Finau is showing his best stuff yet again, only during the fall season when fans commit their weekend afternoons to football and not fairways.
Finau began the week shooting the round of the day on Thursday, a 5-under 65 at Memorial Park, which was playing harder than plenty of PGA Tour hosts. He backed it up with another round of the day Friday — this time a ridiculous 10-birdie 62.
When asked about it after the round, his mind went straight to his peak earlier this summer.
“That’s definitely some great scoring,” Finau said. “Obviously winning back-to-back on the Tour, that’s probably right at the top so far in my career, but this was a nice stretch. I think these last 27 holes is pretty impressive on this golf course.”
He’s not wrong either. Finau shot 13 under in a stretch of just 27 holes. And even though he took his foot off the gas for just a bit Saturday, he still played bogey-free golf and carded a 68. He’s third in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting, sixth in SG: Approaching the Green and out in front of everyone in SG: Off the Tee. What a pity it is that he’s just top 30 in SG: Around the green.
When you watch it take place, it’s the kind of golf that makes you think Finau can win every week. And perhaps that’s exactly what he’s feeling.
“Winning just breeds confidence,” Finau said Friday night. “I’ve always felt like I was confident to win, but you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to make it happen. Having done that back to back, I think it just breeds confidence more into my belief and to my game. I would say that’s been a nice part over these last couple years is just getting more comfortable at the top of the leaderboard.”
A win on Sunday would push him up to No. 12 in the world.