How Tony Finau Gauges Risk On The Course
Episode 1: Tony Finau and the par-5 18th at TPC Twin Cities
A self-proclaimed numbers guy, Tony Finau perpetually references his yardage book to assess risk-reward situations. “The par-5 18th at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn. is a great example, because this Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole puts so much emphasis on the tee shot,” says the PGA Tour pro and Aon ambassador. “I love going for par 5s in two. It’s one of my favorite things to do in golf and can give me a big advantage.” It boils down to better decision making for Finau, who uses the book to analyze the data and make the best possible choice. Knowing he carries the ball 310 yards on the fly, Finau sees that he’ll hit water 275 yards down the right side of this particular hole. Likewise, he’ll find trouble at 300 yards if he veers too far left. Finau also considers No. 18’s history for optimal information—seeing that since 2019, Tour pros hitting the fairway are six times more likely to go for the green in two. And those who lay up score an average 4.91 on the hole. Finau adds that he’s become more reliant on such data, using it as an edge over competitors. He ultimately opts to aim down the middle, into the narrow neck of the fairway. “If I take that on as a risk, then I have a shorter club into the green,” he says. “I could hit a 3-wood into the wider part, but that's going to give me a longer shot in.” Now that’s a well-informed decision.