Tony Finau matches power, precision for 62, his lowest career PGA Tour round

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Tony Finau matches power, precision for 62, his lowest career PGA Tour round

PGA Tour

Tony Finau matches power, precision for 62, his lowest career PGA Tour round

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LAS VEGAS – Earlier this week, Tony Finau was a bit dazed and confused after playing two weeks in Europe and then taking a red-eye from Scotland to his home in Utah this past Sunday.

He sure woke up on Saturday.

The lanky, big-hitting Finau finally matched up his putter with his power and excellent work with the irons for a 9-under-par 62 at TPC Summerlin in the third round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

With seven birdies and an eagle from 7 feet on the 16th, the bogey-free Finau shot his lowest score on the PGA Tour by two shots and sat atop of the leaderboard by one shot at 15 under with the leaders yet to tee off.

He ended the third round T-8, seven shots back of leader Kevin Na.

SHRINERS: Updates | Leaderboard | Photos

“The jet lag was real coming back to the States,” said Finau, who in his previous two weeks finished in a tie for 10th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and in a tie for 51st in the BMW Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event.

“Usually coming back to the time zone that I’m used to is a little easier than going over there, but my body must have got used to that time because I feel like I was a bit in a daze the last couple days. Not to throw a disclaimer in there or anything, but I haven’t felt the energy that I usually feel leading into a new season and feeling good about my body and myself.

“But today I feel great, and I think the jet lag is behind me.”

A day after being disappointed with his putting, Finau spent extra time before the third round working on his fundamentals with the shortest club in his bag. Despite being delighted with how his putter worked, Finau only made 47 feet of putts. His 62 could have been a sub-60 as he missed six putts between 6 and 20 feet, including his 6-footer for eagle on the ninth.

“Just wasn’t comfortable over the putter, and it cost me quite a few shots,” Finau said of his second round. “Paid a little bit more attention to detail with my coach, and we stuck with something today, and obviously it worked. It was nice to hit it the same as I have been and make some putts.”

Now that he and his putter are fully awake, Finau is once again in position to win his second PGA Tour title. Since winning the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, he has 25 top-10s on the PGA Tour, including 17 the past two seasons, a stretch than shows five second-place finishes.

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1180562038935961602

He’s also motivated by a red, white and blue uniform. Finau, ranked No. 13 in the world, finished ninth in the Presidents Cup standings, just missing out on being one of the eight automatic qualifiers for the team that faces the Internationals in Australia in December. Now he has to impress captain Tiger Woods to be one of his four discretionary selections to fill out the roster.

“I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t make the team,” Finau said. “Maybe that’s lighting a little bit of a fire in me going into the season. Every week I tee it up and I try to put myself in contention to win. This week I’ve got that opportunity, and you know, there’s a lot of golf to be played out there today, so who knows where I’ll be at the end of the day, but I’m happy that I’m back in the tournament and I’m going to have a chance to win this thing tomorrow.

“It was a goal that I had last season to make the Presidents Cup team. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a chance to do that with some good play in the fall, and this is a good start. (Woods) is the captain of the USA team, and it would be great to play on the team, but I unfortunately haven’t played my way on yet, and the only thing I can do is play some good golf in the fall and see what happens.”

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