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Tony Finau couldn’t have done much better to start the PGA Championship

By admin May29,2024


Tony Finau watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky.

Tony Finau watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. | Sue Ogrocki

Despite a successful career that includes six PGA Tour victories, Tony Finau has never won a major championship.

It is really the only thing missing on his career resume.

This week’s PGA Championship marks the latest chance for Finau to win a major, and while it is still very early, Finau couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tournament than what he accomplished Thursday.

Finau posted a 6-under-par 65 in the opening round and stood tied for second midway through the opening day of play, behind only Xander Schauffele, who shot an impressive 9-under 62. The performance has him squarely in the mix for the elusive major championship, his stated goal going forward in his career.

“I’m at a point in my career where I’ve done a lot of cool things, won some cool tournaments, played in a lot of the international team events, which has just been incredible,” Finau told ABC4 sportscaster Wes Ruff in April. “The one thing that I feel like my career is lacking is winning a major championship, and multiple (majors). I’ve got my eye to win more than just one, and I still have plenty of time. I feel like I’m still young. For me, the time is now, and it would mean everything to my career.”

Finau carded six birdies Thursday, with a strong performance over his first nine holes specifically (he began his day on the 10th hole). All of it had him tied with Sahith Theegala for second overall midway through the day, a stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy (-5) and Robert MacIntyre (-5).

Per The Athletic’s Justin Ray, Finau’s performance was just his fourth bogey-free round in a major championship in his career and his first at the PGA Championship. Moreover, his 65 is his lowest opening round in a major tournament ever, by two strokes.

Interestingly enough, Schauffele and Finau are two of the three winningest golfers on the PGA Tour who haven’t won a major, along with Rickie Fowler.

Finau will tee off Friday afternoon in the second round, alongside Theegala and Tyrrell Hatton, at 12:13 p.m. MDT.

Tony Finau waves after making a putt on the second hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. | Sue OgrockiTony Finau waves after making a putt on the second hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. | Sue Ogrocki

Tony Finau waves after making a putt on the second hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. | Sue Ogrocki

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