Scott Percy stood for eighth on Sunday by five runs and one hand over the 3M Open. However, just as a level of comfort seemed on the surface, the 43-year-old sensed a shock to his system, combing four bogeys and an ugly triple on his next seven holes. What his loss was Tony Finau’s gain, as the 32-year-old was the man to seize the opportunity and claim the eventual victory in the 2022 3M Open.
Starting today five strokes on Percy’s lead, Finau handled his work at the front nine and turned 1 under. By adding a birdie in the eleventh, the now three-time winner on the PGA Tour couldn’t turn his birdie effort on the par-5 12 to come close to one of the top spots; Instead, he dropped three hits behind Percy when his opponent made a birdie of his own.
With that said, Finau kept his head low, continued plodding along and added sparrows in numbers 14-16. With Percy running into trouble behind him, Finau not only jumped to the top of the leaderboard, but a lead that grew to four strokes in the blink of an eye.
Finau was lucky to have had a break at 17-par-3 when his loaded shot remained dry after bouncing off the runway, he was able to go up and down on par. It proved to be a defining moment, as he found water from a tee on the 18th day of closing and made a bogey to come in at 17 under the tee for the championship.
The effort earned him his third PGA Tour title and second in less than a year, with his final trip to the winner’s circuit last season at The Northern Trust – the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
In the alarming 2022, Finau managed to change his fortune since the beginning of May. Finau began by performing as runner-up at the Mexican Open, added a fifth-place finish in the Charles Schwab Challenge and fought Rory McIlroy along the RBC Canadian Open stretch, where he also finished second.
While most days of the week it felt like the court was playing for a place on the podium due to Percy’s dominance, this just shows the importance of consistently playing in the center. Few have been better at this than Finau over the years, who has secured 29 of the top five spots since 2017.
For Finau, the gains haven’t accrued yet, but golf is often a running game. Patrick Cantlay in last year’s qualifiers; Victor Hovland last winter; Scotty Scheffler during the spring; And Xander Shaveli in the middle of the summer months. Maybe, just maybe, this postseason will belong to Tony Finau. Grade: A +
Here are the scores for the rest of the notables on the leaderboard of the 2022 3M Open بطولة
T2. Sungjae Im (-14): After experiencing a disappointing trip to Scotland, it is heartening to see Im rediscovering a form. The South Korean pulled out ahead of the Travelers Championship and missed the cut at the US Open. An example of consistency, he made it to the TPC Twin Cities and married his set piece which hit with some efficient shooting. Im late around the green, but after playing for three straight weeks, even the golf version of Iron Man may have dealt with some kind of tiredness. Grade: B +
T4. Scott Percy (-13): If I had told Percy at the start of the week that he was going to be fifth, he would have taken it and ran. While the whole context of the situation paints a disappointing picture, he will be able to take away some of the positives despite wasting a five-stroke lead with only 10 holes to play. Percy started Week 138 in the season-long race and propelled himself to 112th by playing in Minnesota. A win would have seen Percy inside the top 50, but with only two weeks left in the regular season, seeing his name inside the top 125 offers at least some sense of job security.. Grade: A-
T17. Cameron Champ (-7): He cleared his opening nine holes on Thursday, which he played by six, and Champ put in a solid defensive effort. Playing the last 63 holes on 13-under, the three-time PGA Tour winner finished a slip that included five consecutive missed pieces. Prior to that, Champ had finished T10 in the Masters and T6 in the Mexico Open. With a similar finish at the TPC Twin Cities, the 27-year-old is probably riding that momentum at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. B degree
T38. Ricky Fowler (-3): The five-time winner of the PGA Tour was looking for a spark to start the end of his season, but was unable to find it in Minnesota. After finishing in the middle of the group, Fowler continued to dry up, staying stuck without finishing in the top 20 of 2022. Now far from the top 125 in the FedEx Cup points race, he’s heading to the Rocket Mortgage Classic next week needing to find lightning in a bottle to make his way to the Post season. The good news is that Fowler ranked 24th in strokes and secured the tee to the green thanks to strong efforts on the tee and around the green. The bad news is that he’s a shell of his former self and only has a year left due to him winning the 2015 Players Championship. Grade: D
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