Tony Finau

Tony Finau
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Finau in 2018
Personal information
Full name Milton Pouha Finau
Nickname Tony, Big Tone[1]
Born (1989-09-14) September 14, 1989 (age 32)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Scottsdale, Arizona[2]
Career
Turned professional 2007
Current tour(s) PGA Tour
European Tour
Former tour(s) PGA Tour Canada
Web.com Tour
Professional wins 3
Highest ranking 9 (December 2, 2018)[3]
(as of September 19, 2021)
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 2
Korn Ferry Tour 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T5: 2019
PGA Championship T4: 2020
U.S. Open 5th: 2018
The Open Championship 3rd: 2019

Milton Pouha "Tony" Finau (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional golfer who currently plays on the PGA Tour.

Early life and amateur career

Milton Pouha Finau was born on September 14, 1989 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He won the Utah State Amateur Championship in 2006, defeating future PGA Tour player Daniel Summerhays in the 36-hole championship match.

Professional career

Although Finau had college scholarship offers in basketball, he turned professional at the age of 17 and began playing on mini-tours including the Gateway Tour, NGA Hooters Tour, and National Pro Tour.[4]

Finau and his brother Gipper competed on the Golf Channel's The Big Break in 2009. Finau finished second on Big Break Disney Golf.[4]

Finau played on the PGA Tour Canada in 2013, making seven cuts in eight starts.[4] He finished T-3 at the 2013 Web.com Tour qualifying school to earn his Web.com Tour card for 2014.[4] He won his first title in August 2014 at the Stonebrae Classic.[5] He finished 8th in the regular season, and 12th in the Web.com Tour Finals to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2014–15 season.

In March 2016, Finau won his maiden title on the PGA Tour at the Puerto Rico Open. He won in a sudden death playoff over Steve Marino with a birdie on the third extra hole. He had earlier missed a putt for the victory outright on the 72nd green. The result moved Finau into the top 25 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Finau opted not to defend his Puerto Rico title in 2017, instead taking his chances to get into the field at the 2017 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but was two players short of entering the field, which takes the top 64 available players from the Official World Golf Ranking.

2018

Finau qualified for the first three majors in 2018, including his first Masters appearance, by making it to the Tour Championship in 2017. He finished in a tie for 10th place at the 2018 Masters, despite dislocating his ankle in the Par-3 contest[6] the day before the first round. In June 2018, Finau finished in 5th place at the U.S. Open after a double-bogey on the 18th hole, his highest finish to date in a major tournament.

Finau finished the 2018 PGA Tour season ranked sixth in the season-long FedEx Cup. He earned over $5,600,000 in the 2017–18 season with 11 top-10 finishes. His best finishes in the season were second at the Safeway Open and The Northern Trust. He also finished T2 at the Genesis Open.[4]

In September 2018, U.S. team captain Jim Furyk named Finau as a captain's pick for the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National outside of Paris, France. The U.S. lost the Ryder Cup to the European side 17 1/2 to 10 1/2. Finau finished with a 2-1-0 record and won his singles match over Tommy Fleetwood (6 and 4). Up till then Fleetwood had gone 4-0-0 in the fourball and foursome matches (with partner Francesco Molinari).[7]

2018–19 PGA Tour season

On October 28, 2018, Finau lost a playoff against Xander Schauffele in the WGC-HSBC Champions. He still won more than $1,000,000 by finishing second.[8]

In April 2019, Finau was in the final group of the Masters Tournament with Francesco Molinari and Tiger Woods, who went on to win his 15th major championship. He ended the tournament tied for 5th.

2019–20 PGA Tour season

In December 2019, Finau played on the U.S. team at the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia. The U.S. team won 16–14. Finau went 0–1–3 and halved his Sunday singles match against Hideki Matsuyama.[9]

In February 2020, Finau lost the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a sudden death playoff to Webb Simpson.[10] Finau, who lost to Simpson's birdie on the first extra hole, had held a two stroke lead with two holes to play, but Simpson finished with consecutive birdies to force the playoff.[11]

In July at the Memorial Tournament, Finau held a four-stroke lead in the third round before faltering on the back nine with two double bogeys. His struggles continued on Sunday, including a triple bogey on the par-four sixth hole, ultimately shooting six over par on the day and finishing the tournament in eighth place, two under par. A week later, Finau's T-3 placing at the 3M Open meant that he now shares the PGA Tour record (30) for the most top-10 finishes in a four-year period without a win.[12]

2020–21 PGA Tour season: Second win after five years

In early 2021, Finau had a stretch of five weeks where he finished in the top 4 in all four tournaments that he entered. He finished fourth at The American Express, tied second at the Farmers Insurance Open, tied second at the Saudi International on the European Tour and he lost in a playoff to Max Homa at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Finau won the 2021 Northern Trust, beating Cameron Smith in a playoff.[13]

Personal life

Finau is of Tongan and Samoan descent, the first person of such ancestry to play on the PGA Tour.[14] Finau's brother Gipper made the cut in the Utah EnergySolutions Championship at the age of 16 but did not succeed as a tournament professional.[4] He is the cousin of NBA basketball player Jabari Parker[4] and former NFL football player Haloti Ngata.[citation needed]

Finau runs the Tony Finau Foundation, an organization aimed at empowering youth and their families in the local community.[15] He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Alayna Finau, have four children.[16]

Professional wins (3)

PGA Tour wins (2)

Legend
FedEx Cup playoff events (1)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 Mar 27, 2016 Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach 69-70-67-70=276 −12 Playoff United States Steve Marino
2 Aug 23, 2021 The Northern Trust 67-64-68-65=264 −20 Playoff Australia Cameron Smith

PGA Tour playoff record (2–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2016 Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach United States Steve Marino Won with birdie on third extra hole
2 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions United States Xander Schauffele Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open United States Webb Simpson Lost to birdie on first extra hole
4 2021 Genesis Invitational United States Max Homa Lost to par on second extra hole
5 2021 The Northern Trust Australia Cameron Smith Won with par on first extra hole

Web.com Tour wins (1)

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runners-up
1 Aug 3, 2014 Stonebrae Classic 67-62-63-66=267 −22 3 strokes United States Daniel Berger, Argentina Fabián Gómez,
United States Zack Sucher

Playoff record

European Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions United States Xander Schauffele Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Results in major championships

Results not in chronological order in 2020.

Tournament 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament T10
U.S. Open T14 CUT 5
The Open Championship T18 T27 T9
PGA Championship T10 CUT T44 T42
Tournament 2019 2020 2021
Masters Tournament T5 T38 T10
PGA Championship T64 T4 T8
U.S. Open CUT T8 CUT
The Open Championship 3 NT T15

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
NT = No tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic

Summary

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 3 3 4 4
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 3 3 7 6
U.S. Open 0 0 0 1 2 3 6 3
The Open Championship 0 0 1 1 2 4 5 5
Totals 0 0 1 4 10 13 22 18
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 8 (2017 Open – 2019 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
The Players Championship CUT CUT T57 T22 C CUT

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
C = Canceled after the first round due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Results in World Golf Championships

Tournament 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Championship T27 T25 14
Match Play T17 T40 NT1 T28
Invitational T10 T27 T65 T34
Champions T11 2 T53 NT1 NT1

1Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

NT = No tournament
"T" = Tied

U.S. national team appearances

Amateur

Professional

See also

References

  1. ^ Beall, Joel (February 3, 2020). "Does Tony Finau choke on Sundays, or is he the victim of bad luck? An analysis". Golf Digest. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Schupak, Adam (February 1, 2020). "New Scottsdale resident Tony Finau right at home with third-round lead at Phoenix Open". AZ Central. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Week 48 2018 Ending 2 Dec 2018" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Tony Finau profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "Tony Finau shoots 66 en route to win". ESPN. Associated Press. August 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Tony Finau dislocates ankle celebrating hole-in-one at Masters Par-Three event - and pops it back in himself". The Independent. April 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Wittry, Andy (September 30, 2018). "Ryder Cup Scores: Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson had the best days relative to par Sunday at Le Golf National". Ryder Cup. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Kragthorpe, Kurt (October 28, 2018). "Utah's Tony Finau loses a playoff in his bid for a World Golf Championship title". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Dusek, David (December 15, 2019). "Presidents Cup grades: Captains, Royal Melbourne score high marks". Golfweek.
  10. ^ Gray, Will (February 2, 2020). "Power of precision: Simpson stays true to roots to beat heavy-hitting Finau". Golf Channel.
  11. ^ "Webb Simpson wins Waste Management Phoenix Open, Bryson DeChambeau finishes 2-under". Dallas News. Associated Press. 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  12. ^ Myers, Alex (July 27, 2020). "Tony Finau is about to break a PGA Tour record that he probably won't want to celebrate". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  13. ^ Ferguson, Doug (24 August 2021). "Tony Finau ends 5-year drought and wins Northern Trust". Associated Press. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  14. ^ Evans, Farrell (October 7, 2014). "Finau's atypical path to PGA Tour". ESPN.
  15. ^ "Tony Finau Foundation". Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  16. ^ Christensen, Danielle (October 5, 2017). "'His time is the best time': Professional golfer Tony Finau on faith, family and PGA Tour". Deseret News. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

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