Finau’s odds of making it to East Lake last Sunday were slim. The big hitting Utahan entered the day No. 39 and needed a low round to crack the top 30. He did just that, carding a seven-under 64 with a front nine 30 to climb to No. 24 and finish the tournament tied for seventh.
Finau still had to keep an eye on the leaderboard late as his spot in East Lake wasn’t fully assured until birdies at Nos. 15 and 18.
Jordan Spieth cited Tony Finau as one of the more underrated players in his Tuesday press conference. I’d have to agree.
The 28-year-old is riding 12 cuts made in a row going back to May. In that span he has three top-10 finishes and seven total on the season.
He’s proven he can close it out on Sunday with his win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. Now seems like the time for Finau to make a splash on a big stage. He’s showed well at the majors with three top-20s and five made cuts in seven starts. Hell, he almost win Golf Channel’s “The Big Break” in 2009, which is a gauntlet in its own right.
The moment shouldn’t be too big for one of the most well-liked guys on Tour.
The key for Finau will be the putter. He’s No. 10 in distance, 16th in greens in regulation and a modest 86th in strokes gained around the green. Striking the ball is not a problem.
At No. 164 in strokes gained putting, Finau will need to hole some long ones or beat the course to death with enough birdie chances to outweigh his deficiencies on greens he’s seeing for the first time.
Finau holed some lengthy par saves last Sunday at Conway Farms and appears more confident in his putting.
“The putter was a big key today,” Finau said in his press conference as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “Made some par saves when I needed to and hit it really nicely.”