NEW YORK (AFP) – Tony Finau ended a long title shortage, overtaking Cameron Smith in a play-off at the Northern Trust that required a Monday 23 August finish and an extra hole to determine the winner.
It is the second victory of the American’s career and comes 1,975 days and 143 starts since Finau’s first victory on the PGA Tour at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.
“It’s amazing. I knew I had to be under 20. That was my goal at the start of the day. I was able to do it,” he said of the biggest win ever. his professional career, which began in 2007.
Finau claimed the win by hitting the par on the extra hole in the first round of the FedEx Cup play-offs at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Organizers had to move the final round to Monday after 23cm of rain fell on the golf course over the weekend. This made conditions difficult in the final round, as the shots dug into the ground and occasionally landed in puddles that dotted the course.
The final round was also delayed by an hour due to bad weather.
Finau finished with a total of under 65 in regulation time and a total of 264 under 20, then continued their solid game until the playoffs.
The same could not be said of his Australian opponent Smith who practically handed the victory to Finau on 18 additional par four holes smoking his tee shot out of bounds. Smith had to hit a second tee shot, but there was no turning back to the way Finau was playing.
Finau went birdie-eagle-birdie-by-birdie over a five-hole stretch of the last nine, starting with the 12th hole par four.
Finau also had to pass Jon Rahm by shooting a 30 on the back nine. Rahm appeared to be on his way to victory, but made two bogeys in his last four holes to drop out of the competition. Rahm shot 69 to finish at 18 under, two shots behind the leaders.
“It took me everything I had,” Finau said. “I was chasing the best player in the world (Rahm). Jon is a good friend, but I know what kind of game he has. He’s not going to let go.
“So I knew I was going to have to catch him and eventually pass him, and Cam was playing well. I gave him everything I had. Smith competed with back-to-back birdies at No.16 and No.17 before parrying the closing hole.
“Just a terrible blow, mate. Just a miss, and under these conditions, you can’t miss the ball. My driver has cost me a few tournaments this year, ”said Smith of his dismal tee shot.
The Northern Trust presented the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup rankings. The top 70 from that event will advance to the BMW Championship, which kicks off Thursday in Maryland.
Rahm finished alone in third place while Justin Thomas (70), Swede Alex Noren (66) and Tom Hoge (69) were tied for fourth at 15 under, five strokes behind the leaders.
Patrick Reed, who won here the last time the tournament was played on this course in 2019, retired from the event with an ankle injury and then ended up in a Houston hospital with pneumonia.
She was diagnosed with bilateral interstitial pneumonia, sometimes called double pneumonia because it affects both lungs.
“I am on the road to recovery,” Reed said in a statement. “Once I get cleared by the doctors, I can’t wait to go back. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to go back.