‘Full-package’ Tony Finau drives AND putts for dough in Houston
Tony Finau went 1,975 days between win Nos. 1 and 2 on the PGA Tour.
He’s now got three more in a matter of months.
Finau won the Cadence Bank Houston Open by four shots on Sunday at Memorial Park as he continued what has been a prosperous run, a seven-start stretch that includes three titles and a couple more top-10s.
After putting the finishing touches on another dominating victory, which only looked like less of a rout thanks to a 3-over, birdie-less back nine, Finau was reminded of that lengthy win drought. Of course, it helped the bank account and rankings that Finau was able to record 10 runner-up finishes during that time. But for a competitor like Finau, there were certainly times that ate at him, as he’s admitted many times before.
On Sunday, Finau spoke of how he never wavered from the belief that he would one day be the type of player to win prolifically.
“That was the most important stretch of my PGA Tour career,” Finau said of the five-year winless streak. “I continued to believe, I didn’t give up on myself, I continued to work hard on my body and on my game and I just knew that – I was always hopeful that I could go on special runs, and I think we’re starting to see that now. I’m starting to put together a full-package game, which is really exciting for me. That’s all you can do is work hard and I’ve worked extremely hard on parts of the game that I know I have to, and I think it’s starting to show.”
Finau’s statistical showing at Memorial Park backs that up, as he ranked second in both strokes gained off the tee and putting, and ninth in strokes gained approach.
To compare, he finished last season 15th off the tee and 12th approach, second-best and best career marks, respectively. But he was also T-85 in putting, the part of his game that has not cooperated for much of the 33-year-old’s career, and he still managed two wins, two seconds and seven top-10s.
“Probably the best driving week I’ve had in my career, at least that’s how I felt,” Finau said of this week’s performance. “Yesterday, for the first time in my career, I hit all 13 fairways, 100% of fairways in regulation. I’ve never done that in my career, so definitely drove the ball well. And it’s a lethal combo when I feel like this is the best putting week I’ve had as well. So, you combine those two and you can get kind of a runaway win like I had.
“It’s very encouraging for me as I move forward throughout the season.”
Yes, this week’s event marked Finau’s first of the fall with ShotLink available, so the sample size is small, but should he remain elite in three of the four facets – adding putting, where he’s never finished better than 53rd (2017-18) in strokes gained, to his list of top-20 skills – the sixth win of his career won’t be far behind.