It is early, as far as the PGA Tour season is concerned, but Tony Finau is looking to make a late run in pursuit of a spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup team.
Toward the goal, Finau shot a nine-under par 62 in the third-round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Saturday to get into contention at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
“It motivates me,” Finau said of the Presidents Cup. “I'm a little bit disappointed that I didn't make the team. Maybe that's lighting a little bit of a fire in me going into the season. Every week I tee it up I try to put myself in contention to win. This week I've got that opportunity. I'm happy that I'm back in the tournament and I'm going to have a chance to win this thing tomorrow.
“It would be hard to win a golf tournament in the fall and not get picked, I feel.”
The top eight in points earned a spot on the team and Finau, 30, finished ninth. U.S. Captain Tiger Woods has four picks to complete his team.
“He's paying attention, he's watching,” Finau said of Woods. “He's the captain of the USA team, and it would be great to play on the team, but I unfortunately haven't played my way on yet, and the only thing I can do is play some good golf in the fall and see what happens.”
More of what he produced on Saturday would likely suffice. Finau made seven birdies and one eagle in a bogey-free round that took him from a tie for 50th to a tie for first when his round was concluded.
This is Finau’s first start in the new PGA Tour season, but he played the last two weeks on the European Tour. He tied for 51st in the BMW PGA Championship and tied for 10th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
“I feel good now,” he said. “It's taken a few days, though. The jet lag was real coming back to the States after the last couple weeks, but I feel good, and today has got my full attention coming down the stretch there. So happy to cap off a good round, and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Finau, who played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2018, is 13th in the World Ranking and is the highest-ranked American not on the team other than Captain Woods, who is ranked eighth.