JERSEY CITY, N.J. (ABC4 Sports) – Tony Finau had waited five years for his second career PGA Tournament championship. So one extra day and one extra hole was alright with him.
Finau fired a final round 65 to hold off Cameron Smith in a playoff The Northern Trust in Jersey City, N.J. after rain postponed the final round to Monday.
With five birdies and an eagle on 13, Finau finished the round at 20-under par. Smith birdied four of the final seven holes to finish at 20-under as well.
But on the first playoff hole, Smith’s tee shot sailed over a wall and out of bounds, while Finau bombed it right down the middle of the fairway. He sank an easy par putt for the victory.
“It feels amazing,” Finau said. “It took just about everything I had. We got to number 10 and I knew I had to get to 20-under, that was my goal starting the day. My caddy Mark [Urbanek] said let’s turn in the best nine we’ve had all week, and I was able to do it.”
Finau began the day tied for fourth place, two shots back of the number one player in the world, Jon Rahm. But he blistered the course on the back nine, shooting a 30. Finau was three shots out of the lead when he ran off a birdie-eagle-birdie stretch at Liberty National, the last one a 30-foot putt across the 14th green.
“I hit some clutch shots on 18, that’s a tough golf hole,” Finau said. “Man, I just fought and its pretty cool to be standing here again winning a golf tournament. I’ve been thinking about that walk up 18 for a long time. It’s been years. It’s nice to finally have that and now put this second win behind me.”
The West High School graduate had not won on the PGA Tour in 1,975 days since winning the Puerto Rico Open in 2016, which he also won in a playoff. Since then, Finau had 39 top-10 finishes, eight runner-up finishes, three of those in a playoff, and 11 finishes in the top three.
But he ended that drought on Monday.
“All I know is I’m a lot different player than I was then,” Finau said. “I’m a lot better player and I feel like it’s been a long time coming but I also feel like you have to earn everything out here. Nothing’s given to you and I was able to earn this win, and you know, hopefully the future continues to be bright.”
Finau now sits atop the FedEx Cup playoff standings.