Tony Finau’s third-round 62 put the big-hitting Utah native into contention at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. But even if he doesn’t go on to win, Finau accomplished a PGA Tour first at TPC Summerlin that is worth acknowledging.
Finau, despite carding seven birdies and an eagle on Saturday, actually lost 1.507 strokes/putting relative to the field. And in doing so, Finau became the first player in PGA Tour Shotlink history to card a 62 or lower while also losing strokes putting. That’s how hard that is to accomplish! (Kudos to the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin for digging up that amazing stat.)
In some ways, you have to ask: How much better could Finau’s round have been? Looking closer, Finau missed five putts of 15 feet or less, including two inside 10 feet . . . so he really could’ve threatened a round of 59 with a few more holed putts. That’s how well Finau hit the ball on Saturday (he hit 87 percent of his greens, also an astounding number).
For the week, Finau’s strokes gained/putting numbers are even worse: He has lost -5.113 strokes on the field on the greens. This follows a trend for Finau at TPC Summerlin, as he has lost strokes putting the past three years at the Shriners (most notably in 2016, when he lost 6.9 strokes on the greens.)
He trails Kevin Na by seven strokes entering Sunday’s final round, so a few more of those putts would have gave Finau a serious shot to win. Although if he continues to hit the lights out of the ball, it might take just a few more putts to drop for Finau to make up that deficit. We’ll see.