Tony Finau had to wait more than five years for his second PGA Tour win, so having to hang around an extra day to play the final round of the Northern Trust (and then go an extra hole) was no big deal – and well worth the effort.
Chasing down Jon Rahm for much of today’s final round, Finau was relentless in his pursuit of the US Open champion. After making the turn in one-under for the round, Finau dropped a sand wedge to three feet at the 12th hole leading to birdie; a 5-iron from 200 metres to three feet for eagle at the 13th and then rolled in 30-footer for birdie at the par-3 14th to temporarily catch Rahm. When Rahm birdied the 13th to regain the lead, Finau tied him again with a birdie at the short par-4 16th. Moments later, Finau had the top spot to himself after Rahm stumbled with a bogey at 15 and failed to birdie the short 16th. Finau parred in and finished with back-nine 30 and a six-under 65 overall.
However, Cameron Smith was making a move of his own and eventually caught Finau, leading to overtime. The suspense was short-lived, though, as Finau ripped his tee shot down the middle of the first extra hole and Smith flared his out-of-bounds right, effectively ending the tournament.
Known for his prowess off the tee, Finau did not disappoint in that department at Liberty National, ranking fifth in distance at 286.6 metres (313.4 yards). But he was surprisingly on target as well, ranking eighth in driving accuracy while hitting 46 of 54 fairways. As a result, Finau was eighth in strokes gained/off-the-tee at 4.274 strokes.
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-6. Finau also ranked second in greens in regulation, hitting 59 of 72 greens with his Ping Blueprint irons. The blade-like irons have Nippon Modus 3 Tour 120 TX shafts.
On the greens, Finau used a Ping PLD Anser 2 prototype putter that is 37 inches in length with 5 degrees of loft, ranking a respectable 17th in strokes gained/putting picking up 3.669 strokes on the field.
All making for a pretty solid week’s work, even if the week lasted a day and a hole longer than expected.
What Tony Finau had in the bag at the Northern Trust:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Ping G425 LST (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: Ping G400 Stretch, 13 degrees
Irons (3): Nike Vapor Fly Pro; (4-PW): Ping Blueprint
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM8 60 degrees
Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2
PHOTO: Jennifer Perez