On Sunday, Finau surged ahead of the rest of the field at TPC Twin Cities, where he had performed consistently throughout the tournament.
With a five-stroke lead and the 3M Open trophy in his possession, Scott Piercy took his place on the eighth tee on Sunday. Even as he was beginning to feel more at ease, the 43-year-old experienced an abrupt change of heart, carding four bogeys and an ugly triple-bogey in his next seven holes. Tony Finau benefited from his mistake, as the 32-year-old took advantage of the situation to win the 2022 3M Open.
Although Finau started the day five shots off the lead held by Piercy, he took care of business on the front nine and finished one under par. It wasn’t enough to move within one stroke of Piercy, a three-time PGA Tour champion, as he missed a birdie putt on the par-five 12th, and he lost three strokes when Piercy made a birdie, too.
In spite of the setback, Finau remained focused and made birdies on the 14th and 16th holes to stay in contention. Because of Piercy’s struggles, Finau shot to the top of the leaderboard in a matter of seconds, and his advantage had widened to four strokes.
Finau was able to get up and down for par after his tee ball ricocheted off a grandstand on the par-3 17th. On the final hole of the event, he encountered water off the tee and scored a bogey to finish the tournament at 17 under.
He won his third PGA Tour title and his second in less than a year at The Northern Trust, the FedEx Cup Playoffs’ first tournament of the season, with this performance.
Finau has been able to change his fortunes from the beginning of May in what began as a dismal 2022. Starting with a second-place result in the Mexico Open, Finau went on to finish fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge and battle Rory McIlroy to the bitter end at the RBC Canadian Open, where he finished second.
Piercy’s dominance made it appear as if the rest of the competition was vying for a podium berth for most of the week, but this shows the necessity of continuously positioning oneself for a top finish. Finau, with 29 top-five finishes since 2017, is one of the best in the business.
Finau has yet to win a tournament, but golf is a game of streaks. Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, and Xander Schauffele all made the cut in the playoffs last year. Maybe, just maybe, Tony Finau will have a successful postseason this year. The grade is an A+.
The rest of the notables on the leaderboard at the 3M Open in 2022 have been graded here.
T2. Sungjae Im (-14): It is encouraging to see Im find some form after a dismal tour to Scotland. When the Travelers Championship approached, the South Korean withdrew and did not make the cut. He arrived at TPC Twin Cities in perfect form, combining his consistent ball striking with solid putting. Iaround-the-green m’s game was lagging behind, but even golf’s equivalent of Iron Man may have been fatigued after playing three straight weeks. Classification: B+
In the beginning of the week, Piercy would have taken a top-five finish as a given and run with it. Despite the fact that he blew a five-stroke lead with only 10 holes to play, he may still look at the bright side of the situation. As of this writing, Piercy is 112th in the season-long standings, up from 138th last week. Piercy missed out on a place in the top 50, but with two weeks left in the regular season, he at least has a sense of job security by being in the top 125. Accomplished
Cameron Champ (-7): T17 If you exclude the six-over-par first nine holes he played on Thursday, Champ put up a strong defensive performance. The three-time PGA Tour winner halted a run of five missed cuts in a row by shooting a final-round total of 13 under par. Champ had previously placed in a tie for tenth place in the Masters and sixth place at the Mexico Open. A strong showing at TPC Twin Cities might help the 27-year-chances old’s at this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, which begins on Thursday. The grade is a B.
A 38-year-old Rickie Fowler In Minnesota, five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler looked for a spark to jumpstart the conclusion of his season, but he was unable to find it. Fowler finished in the middle of the pack, and he has yet to finish in the top 20 in 2022. In order to make the playoffs, he’ll have to catch lightning in a bottle at the Rocket Mortgage Classic next week, as he’s fallen even further behind in the FedEx Cup points race. However, Fowler finished 24th in strokes gained tee to green because of his great performance off the tee and around the green. Aside from his diminished abilities, the bad news is that he has one year of official status remaining following his victory at the 2015 Players Championship. The final grade is a D.
T. Finau -17
S. Im, E. Grillo -14
J. Hahn, T. Hoge, S. Piercy -13
D. Willett, C. Tarren, G. Sigg -10
C. Hadley -9