The clubs Tony Finau used to win the 2022 3M Open
Standing five shots back of third-round leader Scott Piercy after 54 holes, Tony Finau was asked about his chances headed into Sunday at the 3M Open. Finau, a tour veteran, knew the deal.
“A lot of things happen on a Sunday on the PGA Tour,” he said. “One shot at a time is something you guys hear all the time. You can't get too far ahead of yourself, but I know this is a golf course I can attack and if I get off to the right start, I think there's a low one in me for tomorrow.”
Finau didn’t need a “low one,” but he used a good one—a final-round 68—that, coupled with a back-nine implosion by Piercy, led to Finau’s third PGA Tour title. Helping was a little work on the practice green after the third round.
“Sometimes putts fall, sometimes they don't,” Finau said after the third round. “For me it's more about how I feel over them. Didn't feel as good over them today as I did the last couple days, so I'm actually going to go to the putting green after this and try and iron things out. But that's all you can do and hopefully they fall tomorrow.”
Fall they did. Although his putting wasn’t all that great during the week, Finau was on target Sunday. He rolled in a 22-footer for birdie on No. 2 and an 11-footer two holes later. A 16-footer at the 11th kept the pressure on Piercy, who was starting to show signs of stress. An eight-foot birdie putt at the 14th gave Finau the lead when Piercy tripled the hole shortly after and a 32-footer by Finau boosted the lead to two.
Finau’s putter is a Ping PLD Anser 2D, a wide-body blade at 37 inches in length and 5 degrees of loft. Interestingly, the putter has a drawn-on arrow in the heel area that Finau uses to assist his alignment.
WHAT IT DOES: Ping’s design philosophy since its founding six decades ago has been all about managing mis-hits, and this large, perimeter-weighted driver maintains some of the highest stability on off-center hits in the industry. However, drivers that pursue large dimensions and maximum stability fight a center of gravity that drifts higher as it moves toward the back. That can cause shots to spin too much and lose distance. The G425 models use ultra-thin, web-like ribs on the underside of the crown to reduce thickness (barely three bills thick) to save weight that keeps the CG low.
Finau’s ball-striking also was in fine form as he ranked first in strokes gained/off-the-tee picking up more than five shots on the field, and third in SG/approach, while ranking third in greens in regulation with his Ping Blueprint irons. The Blueprint is a forged iron with a narrower sole, topline and less offset than most Ping irons.
Finau was so successful tee to green that after bogeying the opening hole of the tournament he went 61 more holes before recording his second one at the ninth on Sunday.
One of the longest hitters on tour, Finau averaged 315.6 yards off the tee with his Ping G425 LST driver.
For this week, however, it wasn’t Tony Finau the bomber that won, but Tony Finau, pinpoint iron player and clutch putter. And if he gets all those working together with regularity, Tony Finau, PGA Tour winner will become a frequent title.
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What Tony Finau had in the bag at the 2022 3M Open
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Ping G425 LST (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST, 14 degrees
Irons (3): Nike Vapor Fly Pro; (4-PW): Ping Blueprint
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM9 WedgeWorks (60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2D