BLAINE, Minn. – After reading that he was the betting favourite for the 3M Open in Minnesota, Tony Finau felt the pressure surprising mount in his mind as it became clear that he wanted to build on the momentum he has created this summer.
For his third PGA Tour win, playing catch-up proved to have been the best strategy.
Finau shot a 4-under-67 to win Sundays 3M Open by three strokes. Scott Piercy fell out of the lead at TPC Twin Cities with 11 holes remaining.
Finau, who placed 17-under 267 in the final standings, said that she expected herself to win and contend again this year.
Sungjae Im (68), and Emiliano Grillo (71) were tied for second. Piercy tied for fourth with a wince-inducing score of 76, following his 54-hole tournament record. James Hahn rose to the top of the board with a 65 to match Piercys (70) score at 13 under.
Piercy bogeyed four holes out of six before a triple bogey implosion on Number. 14 was enough to allow Finau, who had been playing in the trio before, to take control. Piercy, 32, graciously congratulated Finau outside the scoring tent. Finau won the largest rally in four editions.
Finau said, Im about the best example of how hard it is to close the deal. He has previous wins in 2016 and 2021. Finau has ten second-place finishes and three 3rds. When you win one its amazing to get the respect from the guys youre playing against.
His wife and five children were his strongest supporters. They stayed in a rented house near the course and followed him from tee-to-green. Finaus mind was free to enjoy family meals and fishing expeditions when it wasnt necessary.
Im a husband, Finau said. Im a dad. Im their friend. I try to have a great time with them.
Finau, who tied third at the 3M Open 2020, jumped from the 30th to the 17th position in the FedEx Cup race. He was ranked 17th around the world when he entered the week.
Finau putt 31 feet for birdie on 15th green. He confidently walked the course in his 6-foot-4 frame, white shirt, and aqua-striped polo.
Finaus day was the clearest sign. 17. His tee shot hit the side of the grandstand, bounced back onto green, and rolled into rough — just a few yards from the water. He hit the perfect chip, landing it within a foot of the hole for the par 3. Then he smiled slightly as his hand was placed on his chest as though he was pretending the sequence caused him heart problems.
Finau faced one last challenge on the par-5 18th. Piercy watched from the fairway as Finau made a 3-footer to make it bogey. He pumped his fist repeatedly, removed his cap, and walked off to embrace his family.
Piercy shared the lead in the first round with Im on Thursday. After a 65, he pulled away with the pack Friday with a 64. This gave him a three shot advantage into the weekend. He stretched his lead to four strokes after enduring the 6½-hour weather delay and a painful heel blister Saturday.
It was nothing compared with the grind he found himself in on Sunday. After six holes, he was at 20-under. Piercy was in serious trouble less than an hour later. After only three bogeys in his first 61 hole, Piercy went over par on seven his last 11. This included the 7 he shot on No. 14.
Piercys fairway bunker tee shot fell in, and his sand wedge couldnt get him out. He tried to get back on the track with a risky last-ditch strategy, but his next attempt from the bunker splashed in water short of the green. Piercy landed in the rough after the drop. His next attempt was 3 inches short.
Piercy won the third round for the fourth consecutive time.
Grillo, an Argentine who tied for 2nd at the John Deere Classic three week ago, also had a Triple Bogey that loomed large in end, a 7 on Number. 7. This week, there were 303 balls in our water, the highest total for the entire season.
Grillo stated that Tony pressed really hard on gas and made it very difficult for everyone.