Notes: Finau fifth rookie to win in 2014
August 05, 2014
By Jeff Adams, PGATOUR.COM
- Tony Finau's win at the Stonebrae Classic moved him to 8th on the money list. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
TONY FINAU POWERS TO VICTORY – Tony Finau (FEE-now), who turned pro at the age of 17, took full advantage of his 6’4” fire power in winning for the first time on the Web.com Tour on Sunday at the Stonebrae Classic. His 22-under-par 258 at TPC Stonebrae, which overlooks the San Francisco Bay, tied the second-lowest score in Tour history. Born and raised in Utah, Finau’s win came in his 23rd start and pushed him from 24th to No. 8 on the money list. The 24-year-old was the fifth rookie to win this year and the 13th first-time winner in the 18 events played to date. A year ago, Finau competed on PGA TOUR Canada, making seven cuts in eight starts to finish 29th on the Order of Merit.
FINAU FLASHBACK – Finau’s first Web.com Tour appearance came in Sept. 2006 when he played the Utah event as an amateur, a week prior to his 17th birthday. A special memory from the tournament was Tony’s younger brother, Gipper, becoming the youngest player to make a Tour cut (T58) at age 16 years, 20 days, a record which still stands.
SILVER ANNIVERSARY FOR SPRINGFIELD AND HIGHLAND SPRINGS – This week’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is the third of four Web.com Tour events celebrating 25 years in 2014. Jeff Cook calmly rolled in a birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to defeat Olin Browne for the inaugural title in 1990 (click on the link below). Cook is the longtime Mizuno rep on the PGA TOUR. Highland Springs has hosted all 25 events.
SUCHER ROLLS TO PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE/JULY - Red-hot Zack Sucher is the Web.com Tour's Player of the Month for June/July. In seven starts, he had a win and T4, T10, T16 and T17 finishes. The University of Alabama-Birmingham product recorded 18 (of 24) rounds that were par or better. He was 57-under par for the two-month period. These figures do not include last weekend's T2 at the Stonebrae Classic, which produced his third straight score of 19-under par and a bogey-free run over his last 51 holes. With no clear winner in June, the months of June and July were combined.
25-FOOTER FOR 59 – Just 25 feet stood between Fabian Gomez and a place in the Tour’s record books last Friday at TPC Stonebrae. The Argentinian’s birdie putt for 59 came up short and he had to settle for 60. It was the second time in three weeks a 60 was posted (Zack Sucher/Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco).
SECOND OF THREE STARTS FOR JARROD LYLE – After taking a week off and touring the Midwest in the brand-new family RV, Jarrod Lyle will tee it up again this week in Springfield. His return to competitive golf in the U.S. was a big success two weeks ago at the Midwest Classic in Kansas City, where he recorded four rounds in the 60s and a T11 finish. Lyle will complete his three-event swing on the Web.com Tour next week in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he won in 2008. That same year, the 32-year-old Aussie finished T28 in his only start in Springfield.
“SUBWAY SKINS GAME” – Four Champions Tour players will return to the Springfield area on Tuesday (Aug. 5th) for the “Subway Skins Game” at Highland Springs Country Club. Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk, winners of the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops, and Jim Thorpe and Chip Beck, will play a nine-hole exhibition. Competing with them will be Web.com Tour members Justin Thomas, Harold Varner III, Sebastian Cappelen and Andy Pope.
RYDER CUP ROSTER RUNDOWN – Web.com Tour alums Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Jimmy Walker sit 1-2-3 in the current 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team standings, with fellow alums Matt Kucher (No. 5), Jason Dufner (No. 8) and Zach Johnson (No. 9) also among the top-nine, which is the cut-off figure for automatic berths. This week’s PGA Championship is the final event to earn points.
MORE PGA – The PGA Championship features 64 former Web.com Tour players, which includes defending champion Jason Dufner and six PGA club professionals. Among the six is New Jersey’s Jim McGovern, who won three times on the Web.com Tour in 1990 and once on the PGA TOUR in 1993. Six players in the field earned or retained their PGA TOUR cards last year via the Web.com Tour – Chesson Hadley, Ryo Ishikawa, Will MacKenzie, Ben Martin, Seung-Yul Noh and Brendon Todd.
FIRST TOUR WINNER RETURNS – Mike Springer, who won the Web.com Tour’s first tournament in Bakersfield, California, teed it up in California last week in a TOUR-sanctioned event for the first time since the 2007 Rex Hospital Open. Now back home in Fresno, he owns and manages an insurance agency. The 48-year-old added two wins in 1990 to his Bakersfield title and went on to a highly successful PGA TOUR career, which included two wins, 22 top-10s and almost $2.6 million in earnings in 342 starts through the 2006 season. With rounds of 76-73 he missed the Stonebrae Classic cut.
DID YOU KNOW? – Representing the ranks of PGA club professionals this week at the PGA Championship is David Tentis of Woodbury, Minnesota. Tentis was runner-up to Mike Springer (see related note above) in the first Web.com Tour event, the Bakersfield (California) Open.
NEXT WEEK – The Tour is in Knoxville, Tennessee. for the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot, the fourth of four Web.com Tour events celebrating their 25th year in 2014.