Tony Finau first won a trophy at the PGA Tour in 2016 during the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach. Since the victory, Finau has achieved 40 top-10 finishes, eight second places and five years without retaining another trophy.
Only Louis Oosthuizen had more runners-up (11) than Finau among active players.
Finau broke this series on Monday when he won the Northern Trust in a play-off match against Cameron Smith after a rain-filled weekend that delayed his victory an extra day. After reaching 18 in his bunker approach to closing the regulation, and after Smith got back-to-back birdies in the final hole, it looked like Finau would continue the trend and contribute to his role of runner-up. finishes.
“All I know is that I’m a very different player than I was then,” Finau said after the tournament. ‘I’m a much better player and I feel it’s a long time, but I also feel you have to earn everything here. Nothing was given to you and I was able to achieve this victory, and you hopefully know the future remains bright. ”
Finau said he’s playing good golf at the moment – and he’s not wrong. He has reached seven top-10 finishes this season alone, including twice second.
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– PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 23 August 2021
During the last 1,975 days since his last victory, there were predictions that he would be one of the next big players in golf. The conversations eventually turned into questions about whether he had what it took to close tournaments or not.
It was about speculation about how many tournaments Finau would win if he won again. It’s a lonely road, and negative thoughts can easily come to mind or success will come again.
But a victory can easily change those thoughts.
“It’s very special. I thought my first one would be the most important, but I actually think that’s the case,” Finau said. “It validates the first one, because of how long I had to wait. I’m a totally different player because I had to wait a long time. Nothing became easy for me.”
Finau said the biggest factor behind this victory and the perseverance during his career is that he never gave up on himself. He never let the doubt get the best of him, and he pushed forward with the support of his family and team around him.
“It’s hard to lose and it’s hard to lose in front of the world,” he said. ‘I’ve done it a few times this year. It made me more hungry. again? It makes me more hungry. Everything is equal to now it’s time for me to win again. I hope I do not have to wait another five years for the next one. “
Time can be a great teacher. Seeing success and feeling the emotions and happiness that comes with it while spending 143 starts again without the feeling again being able to cause a person to either give in or force themselves to adjust.
“I lowered my tail to put myself in this position again,” Finau said on Monday after a back-nine 30 got him in position. “I keep believing in myself. That’s the end.”
Whether this victory drives him to more victories or mimics his first victory and its aftermath, only time will tell. But for now, Finau had to pick up a trophy again and is reminded of what it feels like to experience success on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve been thinking for a long time about walking at 18,” Finau said. “It’s been years. It’s nice to finally have it and now put the second win behind me.”