Tony Finau finds positive takeaways from PGA Championship

The Utah golfer finished tied for 30th but has high hopes for the final two majors of 2022

Tony Finau watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club, Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Tony Finau might have received more attention for his fashion than for his game last week. It was impossible to miss the golfer’s bold floral shirt on Saturday at Southern Hills Country Club.

“From what I’ve heard, people think I pulled it off, so that’s nice,” Finau said.

Going forward, though, the Utah golfer would probably prefer to be talking about a spot atop the leaderboard.

Finau didn’t have the performance he wanted at Southern Hills Country Club last week, finishing the PGA Championship tied for 30th. But Finau seems happy with the state of his game as he begins to shift his focus forward.

“The game’s in a good place overall,” the 32-year-old Finau said. “I’m not one to look too far back. I’m looking ahead. And I’ve got two major championships under my belt so far this year, we’ve got two more to go. Hopefully, I’ll have some better performances for me in the U.S. Open in Boston in a few weeks.”

Finau wrapped up the PGA Championship with his best round of the tournament, a 2-under par 68 on Sunday. He did not drive the ball as well as he would have liked during the tournament (hitting 37 of 56 fairways). But he put up some strong numbers with his ball-striking Sunday as he ranked second in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and sixth in strokes gained: off-the-tee.

Now that he’s played 24 of these major championships, what has Finau learned about himself during these last few weeks?

“I think the key is you have to be properly prepared both physically and mentally. Your game’s got to be in a good place. I always carry a lot of confidence in major weeks,” Finau said. “I’ve had some nice finishes. Though I haven’t gotten the job done, I’ve put myself there to try to win in a few of them.”

Despite sitting 71st in the Fedex Cup rankings currently, Finau’s holding strong to a glass-half-full approach about his future — especially in majors.

“To me, the harder you knock and the more times you knock, the door’s eventually going to open, so just keep pressing forward and keep with you a positive attitude,” he said. “I think it’s easy to get a little edgy the week of a major championship.”

Finau has 10 top-10 finishes in major championships, including a memorable 2019 Masters that saw him featured in the final pairing with Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari. After Woods’ memorable victory, Finau was the first to congratulate the golf legend after he let out a victorious roar on the final hole.

“Something I learned from Tiger, watching him from winning major championships: he gets less intense, less mad at his mistakes at a major championship because I think he knows, if he just steadies the ship, stays patient with himself, he’ll be in it all the way to the end,” Finau said. “So I’m definitely trying to take a chapter from his book about that.”

Finau has about a month to prepare for the US Open (June 13-19) at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. The tour’s final major of 2022, the Open Championship, will be July 11-17 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

As they prepare for the next major, Finau’s caddie Mark Urbanek sees a number of positive takeaways from the long week out at Southern Hills.

“His game is good. He’s showing all of the signs of success in the near future,” Urbanek said.