Tony Finau has three top-20 finishes in his last four appearances at The American Express. He’s made five of six cuts in Palm Springs.
His closest call came in 2021 when he took solo fourth. Finau posted 4-under 68 at the Stadium course and 6-under 66 at Nicklaus to easily make the cut. La Quinta was not in play that year and there was a 36-hole cut.
Finau posted 67-68 on the weekend at the Stadium course to finish four shots off the pace.
Last year, the Utah native recorded 3-under 69 at La Quinta, 67 at Nicklaus, and 65 at Stadium to make the cut and sit in 16th place heading to Sunday.
That’s where Finau finished after a final-round 66. He was T-4th in the field with 28 birdies but made a few too many mistakes to be able to contend.
Finau was T-6th in greens in regulation (80.56%).
He broke down his thoughts on the Stadium course a few years ago, as transcribed by ASAP Sports.
"It's a golf course that fits someone that hits it far," Finau said in 2021. "I can reach all the par-5s on the Stadium. As we know in this game it's going to come down to scoring and come down to putting, especially on this type of golf course. I don't think you're going to hit too many balls out of bounds -- you might hit some in the water -- but ultimately the game comes down to who is going to make the most putts on the weekend and hopefully that's going to be me."
Finau is coming off a week off after debuting this year at The Sentry, where he took T-38th. Another recent result includes T-4th last month at the Hero World Challenge.
Finau went from 2017-2020 without a win. Since 2021, he’s got five of them. The 34-year-old has played well in California over his career, but he’s yet to win in the Golden State.
This is one of the best opportunities he’ll get, especially with defending champ Jon Rahm unable to attend.
Finau ranked 15th on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Total (1.124). He was also seventh in SG: Off-the-Tee (1.257).
This week’s set of courses are all bomber-friendly. You have to be careful in spots on approach to avoid some tricky up-and-downs, but otherwise, it’s a lot of birdie looks.
Finau was fifth in SG: Approach (.789).