[PHOTO: Logan Riely]
After Tony Finau won the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, it took him five years, four months and 26 days to get win No.2, in 2020. Since then, however, winning has become a regular occurrence for the 33-year-old, who picked up two victories earlier this year and tacked on another at the Cadence Bank Houston Bank, winning in dominating style with a four-shot victory.
With Finau the driver is almost always a weapon. However, at Memorial Park Golf Course he used it in a manner in which he’s not usually accustom. Known for unleashing prodigious drivers, Finau instead was a fairway-finding machine in Texas, ranking fourth in driving accuracy, aided by hitting every fairway during the third round.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done [that in] my career on the PGA Tour,” Finau said after the third round. “I think incrementally throughout my career I’ve hit it better, and last year I saw a lot of good signs of hitting some good drives where I needed to. You know, I don’t mind hitting a driver into the wind. I have no problem hitting it low. Maybe that’s one that I’ve got to throw in the back pocket and use more often.”
Finau’s driver is Ping’s G425 LST, the low-spin version of the G425. The Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft is tipped 1.5 inches and the driver has a swingweight of D-7. For the week, Finau ranked second in strokes gained/off the tee, a little more than four strokes better than the field average.
Finau’s work on the greens was not to be overlooked as well; he ranked second in strokes gained/putting, picking up nearly eight shots on the field. In the final round, Finau made a couple of big bombs to stretch his lead with a 40-footer at the par-5 eighth that was followed by a 19-footer at the next hole.
The putter Finau used in Houston is a Ping PLD Anser 2D, a wide-body blade at 37 inches in length and 5 degrees of loft. Interestingly, the putter has a drawn-on arrow in the heel area that Finau uses to assist his alignment.
Which clearly is also pointing the way to victory with ever-increasing regularity.
What Tony Finau had in the bag at Cadence Bank Houston Open:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Dot
Driver: Ping G425 LST (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond, 14 degrees
Irons (3): Nike Vapor Fly Pro; (4-PW): Ping Blueprint
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM9 WedgeWorks (60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2