Winner's Bag

How Tony Finau rode a 7-degree driver and 37-inch putter to victory at the 2023 Mexico Open

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Hector Vivas

Long and straight off the tee is helpful. So is on-target play with your irons. Putting well is nice, too. Combine a couple of those things and you can be successful on the PGA Tour. Do them all well during a tournament and you’re Tony Finau winning the Mexico Open at Vidanta by three shots over Jon Rahm.

Finau ranked second in strokes gained/off the tee, picking up more than five strokes on the field at Vidanta Vallarta. Of course when you’re crushing it an average of 329.1 yards while hitting 76.9 percent of your fairways (ranked 11th in accuracy) that usually plays.

G430 MAX / G430 SFT /  G430 LST / G430 HL
G430 MAX / G430 SFT / G430 LST / G430 HL

WHAT IT DOES: The engineers at Ping like to say, “We don’t really drop things that tend to be working.” The G430 line continues to employ a heavy dose of forgiveness, stability and the aerodynamic efficiencies of turbulator ridges on the crown. But the G430 lineup further amplifies an ultra-forgiving design by introducing an improved variable-thickness face pattern and structural support for more energy transfer at impact. 

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ping gets ample credit for the big things, like its clubhead stability, but it does the little things well, too. The G430’s face curvature, with less loft on the lower portion of the face, reduces spin so that weaker shots fly more efficiently. Read more>>>

G430 MAX $600, G430 SFT $600, G430 LST $630, G430 HL $600

Finau’s driver is Ping’s G425 LST, the low-spin version of the G425 family. Although the stated loft is 9 degrees, Finau uses the big minus position on the adjustable hosel to bring it down to 7 degrees. The Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft is tipped 1.5 inches, and the driver has a swingweight of D-7.

Coming into the greens, Finau ranked sixth in strokes gained, garnering 6.223 shots on the field while ranking sixth in greens in regulation with his Ping Blueprint irons (he also has a Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron) with Nippon Modus 3 Tour 120 TX shafts and custom Lamkin UTX midsize grips.

Finau’s touch on the greens was solid as well as he ranked eighth in strokes gained/putting, picking up nearly five shots on the field. On Sunday Finau made two 12-footers for birdies during the first five holes to stretch his lead and then a key 17-footer after a poor bunker shot at the eighth to save par and keep the momentum going.

The putter Finau used in Mexico is a Ping PLD Anser 2D, a wide-body blade at 37 inches in length and 3.5 degrees of loft. The putter has a drawn-on arrow in the heel area that Finau uses to assist his alignment.

Long and straight off the tee, on-target iron play and putting well. It added up to the most birdies in the field (27) and the fewest bogeys (three) and his sixth PGA Tour victory.

What Tony Finau had in the bag at the 2023 Mexico Open

Driver: Ping G425 LST (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX), 9 degrees

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, 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)

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