Tony Finau Sees Positives After Latest Near Miss

By: | Mon 22 Feb 2021 | Comments

Tony Finau could be forgiven for thinking that the golfing gods have got it in for him. The 31-year-old American Ryder Cup golfer lost to Max Homa in a playoff at the Genesis Invitational. Incredibly, it was his 21st top-five finish since the start of the 2016-17 season. Only five other players have more over that time period – but they all have between four and 12 wins each in the span.

Finau’s only victory came at the Puerto Rico Open when it was an opposite field event in the 2015-16 season.

On Sunday he shot a sensational seven-under 64 in the final round, recording eight birdies and just one bogey. And afterwards he remained upbeat.

“Anytime I've had a chance to win, I haven't been the guy that went low and today I was, so I can take a lot of confidence from that,” Finau said. “That's something that I wanted to happen today to just prove to myself on Sundays that I can put myself in the thick of it and shoot a number. At the end of the day I'm going to be able to look back on that and have a lot of positives to take from it.”

Just when it appeared Finau had broken his drought, Homa made a brilliant up-and-down birdie from a bunker on the 17th hole and then – needing a birdie to win – struck his approach to three feet at the last. Homa tried to ram home the putt for the win but it caught the edge of the hole and lipped out – breathing new life into Finau’s chances.

Unfortunately he was unable to take advantage of the gift. After not missing a single putt inside 10-feet for the final 27 holes of regulation (22 of 22), Finau would critically miss two in the playoff.

On the opening playoff hole he had the chance to take the title from seven feet but left it agonisingly short. A hole later he missed the green and had to splash out from a bunker. Homa missed his shot at glory leaving Finau with just under 10 feet to keep the fight going. It wouldn’t drop and Homa took the spoils.

There are many who believe Finau simply doesn’t have what it takes to seal the deal, but that overlooks the fact that he keeps putting himself in positions to win.

“It's bittersweet to be in this position again, but I never get tired of playing good golf and that's what I tell myself every week,” Finau said. “Sports is about winning; I've said that many times. I grew up trying to win every tournament I play, every tournament I play, nothing's changed. But I know at the end of the day you're going to lose a lot more times than you're going to win on the PGA Tour.

“I'm not a quitter, I'm not someone that's going to fade away into the sunset because I can't win in these situations. I had another great shot today. I don't know what else I can say other than I enjoy playing good golf and one of these days it will happen for me and hopefully turn into kind of a domino effect.”

Finau moved to sixth in the FedExCup with the result and remains entrenched inside the top 15 of the world rankings as he heads to the World Golf Championships – Workday Championship at The Concession. Don’t bet against him being there or thereabouts yet again.

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