Tony Finau goes back-to-back with emphatic Rocket Mortgage Classic win

By Sports Desk July 31, 2022

Tony Finau became the first player since Brendon Todd in 2019 to win back-to-back PGA Tour events, taking advantage of the friendly conditions to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic by five shots.

Finau – who entered the final round with a four-stroke lead along with Taylor Pendrith – made six birdies and one bogey in a closing five-under 67 at Detroit Golf Club. It was his only dropped shot of the tournament, after just three bogeys last weekend in his 3M Open triumph.

The 32-year-old finished on an incredible 26 under, with Patrick Cantlay, Pendrith and Cameron Young tied for second place.

Prior to that 3M Open success, Finau had only two wins for his career, and one since the 2015-16 season, with the notoriously mediocre putter figuring things out on the greens. 

He entered the week as the 142nd best putter on the tour this season, but was the 13th best in that discipline for the tournament among players to make the cut, according to Data Golf's strokes gained stat. 

It made a devastating combination when combined with his strong tee-to-green stats – clearly the best of the week, gaining 3.44 strokes on the field in that area, 0.73 more than any other player.

Speaking to the CBS after stepping off the 18th green, Finau said it feels extremely rewarding to have his hard work culminate in such an incredible fortnight.

"It feels amazing, last week was amazing," he said. 

"I was actually quite disappointed in my finish last week, and all I wanted to do this week was show that I am a winner and a champion. I think I did that today.

"The work has been relentless, and to be able to just get rewarded for it… you never know in this game, but you keep your head up, put one foot after the other and good things can happen. That's what's happened the last couple weeks for me."

Pendrith started the day as co-leader, before finishing as one of 16 players to shoot 72 or worse.

A 72 saw Pendrith's challenge fade, while Cantlay signed for a 66 and Young carded a 68.

Germany's Stephan Jaeger finished alone in fifth at 20 under, America's Taylor Moore was sixth as the only player at 19 under, and South Korea's Kim Jooh-yung tied the tournament record with a nine-under 63 to shoot up the leaderboard into outright seventh at 18 under.

Wyndham Clark and J.J. Spaun both shot 65s to finish tied for eighth at 17 under.

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    "That was super tough," Rose said. "I did such a good job on the back nine hanging in.

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    Further back, two-time major champion Scottie Scheffler is at two under after finishing even for the day, one stroke ahead of second-round leader Lowry, who endured a dismal third round.

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