Tony Finau, and the chip that gained him a trip to the Masters

Tony Finau understood a top-10 finish in the 3rd event of the PGA Tour’ h FedEx Cup Playoffs in mid-September would send him to the Trip Championship in Atlanta.

Yet as he played that will final round near Chicago , he was thinking about a location 140 miles east of Atl. Finau’ s target was Augusta National Golf Club and his first look in the Masters.

“ It was the only thing upon my mind, ” the Lehi resident said recently. “ There was clearly nothing more important to me in my profession than I needed to get to Augusta. ”

He’ s there. Finau will first tee off Thursday in the Masters , taking another step in his 4th PGA Tour season. He gained the invitation via a top-30 complete in the 2016-17 FedEx Cup rankings, an achievement that seemed improbable when he began that Sunday’ h play in the BMW Championship with Conway Farms Golf Club.

Finau had not carried out well in the first two playoff events, tying for 54 th and sixty-five th areas. He started the BMW Championship using a 6-under-par 65, but faded in order to rounds of 72 and seventy and was tied for thirty four th right after three rounds. Only a top-10 complete would give him enough points to advance back into the top 30 for the period and earn a trip to the Visit Championship — and accompanying advantages for the 2017-18 schedule, including the Experts invitation.

Finau in the majors

Tony Finau’ s leads to major tournaments: 2015 – Oughout. S. Open, T14; PGA Tournament, T10. 2016 – U. S i9000. Open, MC; British Open, T18; PGA Championship, MC. 2017 – British Open, T27; PGA Tournament, T44.

“ I understood my chances were going to end up being really, really slim if I didn’ t get off to a good start Sunday, ” he said. “ I knew what I had to do. That’ s a tough thing, when you understand you have to go out and shoot six or 7 under in a circular. It’ s never a position you wish to put yourself in. ”

Finau replied wonderfully. He birdied 6 from the first 11 holes. After an errant drive caused him to bogey the par-5 No . 14, he or she birdied No . 15. As it ended up, a par on No . eighteen would have been good enough. But because they sized up a birdie nick from the back of the green, Finau and his caddie thought the chances of improving with a par were “ such as 50-50, ” Greg Bodine stated.

Finau holed the shot to complete their 64, then emphatically high-fived Bodine. A tie for seventh location lifted him to No . twenty-four in the standings, then he also linked for seventh in the elite industry of the Tour Championship.

“ In my experience, that was the moment that changed your pet as a player, ” said their coach, Boyd Summerhays, crediting Finau with “ an once-in-a-year circular. ”

Summerhays added, “ That kind of amounts up Tony. He excels within the biggest moments. He definitely enjoys the big stage. ”

Apart from giving him access to all four main tournaments in 2018, the clutch system finish launched Finau into the tour’ s 2017-18 schedule that were only available in October. He placed second within the Safeway Open in California and it has posted two other top-six surface finishes, propelling him to No . nine in the standings.

Even before making his Experts debut, he’ s already properly positioned to return to Augusta Nationwide in 2019. Finau can do that will by finishing in the top thirty again or by maintaining their top-50 Official World Golf Rank (he’ s No . 34) by means of December.

It all can be traced to that Weekend round in September , following a disappointing finish the previous day. Their sloppy finish of the third circular was “ one of those moments whenever golf him hard, ” Bodine told Utah Golf Radio stations. “ If he didn’ capital t have a good perspective, I don’ t think it would have been feasible for him to come out and play the particular round he played on Weekend. ”

Bodine labeled Finau’ s transformation “ in a lot of ways … more rewarding” than his triumph in the 2016 Puerto Rico Open up, and that’ s true. Performed the same week as a World Golfing Championship event, that tournament couldn’ t offer the winner an Experts invitation.

Finau may have been able to get to Augusta National by finishing in the best 50 in the 2017 world position, even without his top-10 surface finishes in the BMW Championship and the Trip Championship. But he’ s pleased to have come through when he do.

“ Waiting isn’ t a good thing on this game, ” he said. “ You want to secure everything you can, when you are able. … Going out and shooting the round like that, in that scenario, while i knew I had to, gave me plenty of confidence and I think I’ ve had the opportunity to ride that into this year. ”

Drive, Chip & Putt: Victoria Romney of Draper tied for 7th place among 10 contestants within the Girls 12-13 finals of the Generate, Chip & Putt competition Weekend at Augusta National Golf Club.


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