BLAINE, Minn. (ABC4 Sports) – Utah’s Tony Finau was down by five shots with 11 holes left, but stormed back to win his third PGA event, winning the 3M Open Sunday in Minnesota.
Finau shot a 4-under 67 to win, as Scott Piercy tumbled out of the lead down the stretch at windy TPC Twin Cities.
Piercy followed his tournament-record 54-hole score with a wince-inducing 76 to tie for fourth, 4 strokes back.
Finau finished at 17-under 267. Sungjae Im (68) and Emiliano Grillo (71) tied for second place. James Hahn surged up the board with a 65 to match Piercy and Tom Hoge (70) at 13 under.
“I was playing great, and every time I looked up it seemed like I was four or five shots back all day,” Finau said. “Then I really got things going in the middle of our back nine, and once I took control of the golf tournament, it was a whole different mindset, trying to seal the deal.”
Finau’s first PGA Tour win came in 2016 in Puerto Rico. He waited five long years for his second victory, which came last August at the Northern Trust. But it only took 11 months for his third career victory.
“I expected myself to contend and win again this year, so to be able to do it this late in the season when you’re running out of tournaments and you put that type of expectation on yourself, it’s so satisfying,” said Finau, who finished at 17-under 267.
Piercy bogeyed four of six holes before a triple-bogey implosion on No. 14, allowing Finau — playing in the preceding trio — to take over for good on his way to his third career tour victory.
“It’s so special just to have my family here with me to celebrate this win with them,” said Finau, a West High School graduate. “They mean everything to me. My wife has been a huge supporter to me, my family back home, there’s been a lot of people that got me to this point and I’d be selfish not to thank so many people. But my parents and my wife are people that have supported me from day one, and this one is for them.”
Finau made a 31-foot putt for birdie on the 15th green to strengthen his grip on the lead, as the 6-foot-4 Utah player calmly and confidently walked the TPC Twin Cities course in his white hat and aqua-striped polo.
The surest sign this was Finau’s day came on No. 17. His tee shot clanged off the side of the grandstand, ricocheted back onto the green and rolled into the rough — just a few feet from the water. He landed the perfect chip within a foot of the hole to make the par 3, then smiled slightly as he playfully clamped his hand on his chest as if to pretend the sequence gave him heart trouble.
“A couple of squirrely swings coming in, but I called bank on 17 and it worked out,” Finau said.
On the daunting par-5 18th, Finau found the water off the tee to face one final challenge. After the penalty stroke, his recovery shots were spot on. With Piercy looking on from the fairway, Finau made a 3-footer for bogey to seal it. He pumped his fist several times, took off his cap and walked off to embrace his family.
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Finau, who tied for third at the 3M Open in 2020, jumped from 30th to 17th in the FedEx Cup race. He entered the week ranked 17th in the world.
Piercy shared the first-round lead with Im on Thursday after a 65 and pulled away from the pack Friday with a 64 to take a three-shot edge into the weekend.