Tony Finau has a couple titles to defend this summer.
It starts at the Rocket Mortgage Classic where he improved from T-53rd (69-70-66-74) in his tournament debut in 2020 to going 17 shots lower (64-66-65-67) to win last year by five.
Finau ran away from the field after beginning the day tied at the top with Taylor Pendrith.
The big man from Utah led the field at Detroit Golf Club in strokes gained tee-to-green and was second off-the-tee. Known for his shortcomings on the greens, all he needed was to rank 14th in SG putting to have a big week.
DGC’s wide fairways and usually gettable scoring conditions play into Finau’s hands. He struggled to a MC a few starts ago playing at Colonial and its tight corridors. Finau regained form at a wider setup at the U.S. Open (T-32nd).
He took a minor step back last week at another short, narrowish test at the Travelers Championship (T-45th). Coming to the Rocket Mortgage Classic should be more up his alley to get the trend back upward.
Finau’s looking for his third win of the season. He won in the fall at the Cadence Bank Houston Open and this spring at the Mexico Open at Vidanta.
The MC at the Charles Schwab Challenge was his first in 2023.
The 33-year-old ranks 10th on the PGA Tour this season in total strokes gained per round (1.605). He’s fourth in SG tee-to-green (1.606), sixth in SG approach (.866), and is 33rd or better in every category except for putting where he’s just a mere fraction from being neutral (101st, -0.001).
Finau is fourth in birdie or better percentage (24.83%).
Don’t overthink. The defending champ is the clear favorite this week in the Motor City.