FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – What a couple of weeks it has been for Salt Lake City native Tony Finau.
After winning the 3M Open in Minnesota last week on the PGA Tour, Finau then set a tournament record at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit this past weekend by shooting 26-under par. So, Finau was understandably in a celebratory mood when he returned to Utah last night, as he was greeted by a flock of his family and friends at the airport.
“It means everything to be back home,” Finau said. “To celebrate this with the state of Utah and everybody that’s followed my career. I have such an amazing fan base here in Utah. I feel the love everywhere I go. I love being from Utah, and I love representing Utah.”
Finau became the first player in three years on the PGA Tour to win back-to-back events. He said nothing has really changed in his game, he’s just in a zone.
“The way I can explain the last couple weeks and what the zone felt like to me was I didn’t feel like I was ever going to hit a bad shot,” said Finau, who had just one bogey in the entire tournament in Detroit. “It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to hit a great shot, I just never thought I was going to hit it in the water. I didn’t see anything but where I was hitting it. I was playing so free, I didn’t think anything was ever going to go wrong. ice way to play this game.”
Finau had to wait five years between his first and second PGA Tour victory. But over the last twelve months, Finau now has three victories headed into the FedEx Cup Playoffs in two weeks. He said he is peaking at just the right time.
“I want all the pressure to be on me and the perform,” said the West High graduate. “I want to be able to hit the shot when it counts, make a putt when it counts, and I was able to prove that to myself more than anything else.”
On Saturday, Finau’s wife Alayna surprised him at his hotel, hid in his room and jumped out, giving him quite a scare.
“It was cool after I didn’t have a heart attack,” Finau said with a smile. “She was in my hotel room and scared the heck out of me as I walked in the room. I didn’t know what to expect. It was something. But I was really happy to have her there to be able to greet her after the win was spectacular.”
Finau is back in Utah helping with a golf clinic and playing in a pro-am ahead of this week’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington. Instead of going for three wins in three weeks, Finau is taking this week off before gearing up for the playoffs.
“Even with the heater that I’m on, I’m happy to rest and be with my family for this week. But I’m excited for this week in the playoffs.”
And when the playoffs begin, all eyes are going to be on Finau as he has become one of the favorites to win it all.
“If you want to be the best player in the world, you’re going to be in the spotlight a lot. So you better get used to it. That’s something that I’ve tried to tell myself is just put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and you’re only going to grow. I did that the last couple weeks and I won.”