Tony Finau: The DNA of back-to-back wins

Words by
Josh Coles
Tony Finau: The DNA of back-to-back wins

"I'm only here as a winner because I choose not to give up." Tony Finau had just sealed his second win in as many weeks at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. Much has been made about how the super talented Salt Lake City native hadn't made the most of many strong 54-hole positions. With his third win within a year, he has surely put a lot of doubters to bed.

Winning on the PGA Tour is hard. Winning back-to-back is a whole new level of difficult. Finau became the first man since Brendon Todd in 2019 to win in consecutive weeks and you could argue it's been coming as Clippd has highlighted in the build up to previous tournaments. So what does it take to win twice in a row? Let's take a look at his last eight rounds.

1. Around The Green

Across the two tournaments it was Finau's Around The Green (ARG) play that was most frequently the strongest part of his game. For rounds two and three of the 3M Open he recorded a staggering Average Shot Quality of 142 for his ARG play. This was also the department that had the highest single Shot Quality score across the two weeks – a chip-in for par on the 11th hole from the greenside rough during the third round at the 3M, which produced a Shot Quality score of 199.

142 Average Shot Quality for ARG in two consecutive rounds!

2. Relentless

Winning on the PGA Tour requires hitting a lot of great shots. It also requires playing very few bad ones. Over the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the 32-year-old hit a total of 528 shots (plus one penalty drop), with only 13 scoring 40 or less for Shot Quality. This is perhaps the single biggest reason as to why he had just four bogeys for the entire two weeks.

Finau's Shot Quality "bins" for his first round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He shot a comfortable 64

3. Iron play

Throughout his eight rounds, Finau consistently hit fairways. He then made the very most of being in good positions with his irons. Finau had an Average Shot Quality for his APP play of 113 across both tournaments and was 130 or above in three of the eight rounds. When you consider the PGA Tour Top-25 for APP play average 112, it's clear to see why he made so many birdies.

An Average Proximity to the hole well inside the tour average during the 3M Open third round

4. Putting

Although PUTT was technically speaking the American's weakest department in terms of Average Shot Quality, it certainly wasn't bad. He only had four three-putts for the two tournaments and two of these came in the first round of the 3M Open. His current overall Player Quality for PUTT is 101 (Tour top-25 level is 105), which means there is still room for improvement – worrying news for those hoping the Finau Express is about to slow down.

Round four of the 3M Open saw Finau finish with an impressive Putts Made Distance

5. Off The Tee

It's no secret that the short-swinging Finau possesses serious club head speed and can hit the ball as far as most. However, he has dialled back on distance for increased accuracy, an improvement that was in evidence over the last fortnight. Finau is now hitting a LOT of fairways. His most impressive round for OTT was during the first day's play at the Rocket Mortgage Classic where he finished with an Average Shot Quality of 130 for OTT, combining power with precision.

On day one at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Finau reached 93% for FW Hit and coupled that with an Average Distance of 314 yards

Find out more about Shot Quality and Player Quality.