Ten years ago, hardly anyone could have imagined Tony Finau placing in the top 10 of 10 major golf tournaments.
The West High School graduate, once searching for places to play during his long quest to make the PGA Tour, added to his remarkable list of achievements on his profession’s biggest stages. Thanks to his comeback from an early double bogey Sunday, Finau climbed into a tie for eighth place in the PGA Championship.
Four birdies helped him post a 1-under-par 71 in the final round at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, giving him 10 top-10 finishes in 20 career majors – including nine in the last 13 events.
The 31-year-old Finau never contended on the Ocean Course, shooting 74-72-70-71, yet his latest top-10 effort was impressive as any of them in its own way. He was tied for 62nd place after the first round, tied for 32nd at the halfway point and had fallen out of the top 30 as of midway through Sunday’s play.
Finau was 1 over for the round through 13 holes. He double-bogeyed the par-5 No. 2, a hole he birdied in two of the first three rounds. This time, a drive into a waste bunker led to all kinds of problems, as he needed five shots to reach the green.
Tony Finau’s top-10 showings in major golf tournaments:
2015 – T10, PGA.
2018 – T10, Masters; 5th, U.S. Open; T9, British Open.
2019 – T5, Masters; 3rd, British Open.
2020 – T4, PGA; T8, U.S. Open.
2021 – T10, Masters; T8, PGA.
After making birdie putts of 21 feet on the par-4 No. 6 and 8 feet on the par-5 No. 7, he missed a 5-foot par attempt on No. 8, failing to capitalize on a good bunker shot.
He had lost considerable ground by that point, but he kept playing. A 27-foot birdie putt on No. 14 gave him his only “2” of the week, then he added a birdie on the par-5 No. 16 after barely missing the green with his second shot.
That put him inside the top 10 and he followed through to the end – unlike Friday and Saturday, when he bogeyed his last two holes in each round. He routinely parred No. 17 and successfully scrambled on No. 18, after driving into the left rough and missing the green to the right. That was a fitting ending, because Finau ranked No. 1 in the PGA field in “strokes gained around the green” among golfers who played all 72 holes, according to datagolf.com.
Finau also played the last five holes of the Masters in 2 under par, earning a tie for 10th in April.
Finau is entered in this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The next major tournament is the U.S. Open, June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course near San Diego.
Utah’s Tony Finau rallies for his 10th top-10 finish in a major tournament /p>