Why Tony Finau didn’t get discouraged 1,975 days between PGA Tour victories

by | Aug 24, 2021 | PGA

Tony Finau held a trophy for the first time at the Puerto Rico Open in Coco Beach in 2016, which was victorious on the PGA Tour. Since that win, Finau has had 40 top 10 finishes, eight second places and five years without another trophy.

Only Louis Oosthuizen has more runners-up (11) among the active players than Finau.

Finau broke that streak on Monday when he won the Northern Trust in a playoff against Cameron Smith after a rainy weekend that delayed his win by an extra day. For a moment after hitting his approach in the bunker at 18 to close the regulation, and after Smith had birdies in a row into the final hole, it seemed like Finau would continue the trend and increase his rolling stats as a runner-up completed.

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“I just know that I’m a completely different player than I was then,” said Finau after the tournament. “I’m a much better player and I feel like it took a long time, but I also feel like you have to deserve everything out here. You weren’t given anything and I could deserve that win, and you know, hopefully . ” the future is still bright. “

Finau said he’s great golfing right now – and he’s not wrong. This season alone he had seven top 10 finishes, including second place twice.

Relief in person. pic.twitter.com/sC8QddZeU8

– PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 23, 2021

For the past 1,975 days since his last win, there were predictions that he would be one of the next great golfers. Those conversations eventually turned into questions about whether he had what it takes to complete tournaments.

It ran from speculation about how many tournaments Finau would win if he won again. It’s a lonely road, and negative thoughts can easily creep in as to whether success comes back or not.

But victory can easily change those thoughts.

“This is very special. I thought my first would be my most important, but I think this one actually is,” said Finau. “It confirms the first one because I had to wait so long. I’m a completely different player because I had to wait so long. Nothing was easy for me.”

Finau said the biggest factor behind that win and the tenacity throughout his career was that he never gave up on himself. He never let doubts overwhelm him and, with the support of his family and team, moved forward around him.

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“It’s hard to lose and it’s hard to lose in front of the world,” he said. “I’ve done it a couple of times this year. It made me hungrier. It is. If it doesn’t discourage you, it makes you even hungrier. You keep telling me when will you win. It makes me even hungrier.” It’s all the same, now it’s time for me to win again. I hope I don’t have to wait five years for the next one. “

Time can be a great teacher. Seeing success and feeling the emotions and happiness that come with winning while then re-spending beginnings without that feeling can cause a person to either give in or force them to adapt.

“I worked my tail off to get myself back into that position,” Finau said on Monday after a back nine 30 brought him into position. “I still believe in myself. That is the bottom line.”

Time will tell whether this victory will drive him to further victories or imitate his first victory and its consequences. But for now Finau is allowed to raise a trophy again and remembers what it feels like to experience success on the PGA Tour.

“I thought for a long time that I would get promoted to 18,” said Finau. “It’s been years. It’s nice to finally have that and now to leave this second victory behind me.”