BLAINE, Minn. (ABC4 Sports) – Utah’s Tony Finau rallied from five shots down in the final 11 holes to win his third career PGA Tour event, winning the 3M Open Sunday in Minnesota.
Unlike most of the other golfers who played at the British Open last week, Finau decided not to take a week off to recover, and he came into the 3M Open as the top ranked player in the tournament.
“I didn’t know I was the highest ranked player in the field until Wednesday,” Finau said. “I read something and I was favored to win, and for some reason, all of a sudden it added expectation and pressure on myself. If you win, everybody expected it, if you don’t win, it’s like well, he can’t win, right?”
And for 3 1/2 days, it didn’t look like he would win. Former BYU golfer Scott Piercy had a 5-shot lead on the front nine Sunday.
“I just know with the experience that I have you have to keep playing, anything can happen,” Finau said.
And it did. While Finau was making birdies. Piercy took a triple-bogey on 14, and suddenly, Finau was in the lead.
“When I got to the 16th green and I look over to the left and I had a 3-shot lead, and my heart almost skipped a beat,” Finau said. “I couldn’t believe it. I said wait a second here. I was near the top of the leaderboard, but I was never within 4 or 5 shots, and all of a sudden, I was the one leading the golf tournament.”
But he got his nerves under control, and kept playing well.
“I played about as clean of a tournament as I have ever played from tee to green,” he said. “I hit a lot of fairways and I hit a lot of greens.”
He also hit a grandstand. Finau got some luck on 17 where he tee shot was long. It bounced off the stands and was headed for the water, but it stopped just short of the hazard line.
“A crazy bounce on 17,” Finau said. “I called bank in the air, so I think that cancels everything out. But I did get a great bounce there and I took advantage of that.”
Finau finished at 17-under par, and won by three shots. His first PGA Tour victory came in 2016 in Puerto Rico, and he had to wait five years to win again in 2021 at the Northern Trust. Finau’s third career victory was made more memorable because it was the first time his family has seen him win in person.
“This one I’ll remember really forever,” said Finau. “I didn’t have them there with me on my other two wins, so this one is extremely special. To get a win with them here means everything. It’s an amazing feeling to walk off the green, knowing you won the tournament, and walk right into your kids arms. It’s what dreams are made of and to have that come to fruition for me and our family today is very special.”