Tony Finau’s career first, a long-hitting Canadian’s ‘home game’ and another Cameron reappear | Golf news and tour information


For years, golf fans wondered when Tony Finau would get his next win. Now it could happen in just a few days.

Finau finally got his second win at The Northern Trust last August, more than five years after his first win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. But after clinching the No. 3 PGA Tour title at the 3M Open last week, finds He’s back at the top of the leaderboard after hitting a 64 with no bogey at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday. And he didn’t even need lucky charms from grandstands!

“This game is a fun game because sometimes you play well and the next week you’re a little flat, sometimes you play well and keep going,” Finau told reporters afterwards. “It was nice to move on after last week and to continue today.”

But while Finau suddenly starts piling up the trophies, he accomplished a career first in his first round. Finau hit all 18 regular greens at Detroit Golf Club, something he had never done in the previous 727 rounds on the PGA Tour. And that made his day seem nice, well…

“I hate to say it lightly. Those are just words I don’t like to use, but it was nice to hit as many fairways as I did today to open up the green for me,” said Finau. “Yeah, it’s cool. I didn’t know before today that I didn’t hit all 18 greens, so to be able to do that here today is pretty cool.”

Also pretty cool — especially for a big sports fan like Tony Finau — is that this week’s top athlete, former Detroit Lion and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Calvin Johnson, said one of the things he was most looking forward to , be watching Finau play. Well, if he was in the galleries today, he saw a Heckuva show.

“Yeah, that’s incredible,” Finau said, “I first met him at the 313 Challenge on Wednesday and told him there’s only one jersey in the NFL that I own and it’s a Calvin-Johnson jersey.” so big fan of his. And I was sad when he retired, but I totally understood that decision. I was a big fan of his, so I’m pretty humbled that he thinks so highly of me and my game. The feelings are very mutual and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Here are the rest of Thursday’s takeaways in Detroit.

Tony Finau wasn’t the only golfer to receive good crowd support on Thursday, shooting 64. Taylor Pendrith put Finau ahead in the first round in what could be a very special week for the Canadian.

Pendrith, who is from Ontario, said he has many family and friends present at Detroit Golf Club.

“Me and my wife drove here on Monday, it was about three and a half hours,” Pendrith said. “Pretty close. It feels like a home game.”

And so far the 31-year-old’s performance has definitely been worth the drive. Known for his pop off the tee, Pendrith gained more than three strokes on both his approach play and putting on Thursday.

Pendrith enters the FedEx Cup points list this week during his rookie season on the PGA Tour at number 104, but that’s a bit of a misnomer given how much time he’s missed. A broken rib meant he was sidelined a few months after the Players Championship and a positive COVID test delayed his return this summer. But he did come this week with back-to-back top-15 finishes at the Barbasol and Barracuda Championships.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Pendrith. “I’ve been up and down the Mackenzie Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour, Korn Ferry Tour and now finally here with some injuries in between. I think it shows that all the hard work has paid off and when I’m healthy I can compete with the best. Apart from the injury it’s been a great rookie year so far and it’s just nice to be back.”

With Cameron Smith winning the Players and Open Championship, Cameron Young’s impressive rookie campaign and even Cameron Davis being the event’s defending champion, golf is in the middle of the Cameron era. But don’t forget Cameron Champ.

Champ, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had to overcome his own injuries in 2022, but he looked healthy Thursday with an opening number of 66 to move him into third place, two shots behind Finau and Pendrith.

The 27-year-old has had an odd season that seemed to be heading in the right direction after a T-10 at the Masters and a T-6 at the Mexico Open. But shortly thereafter he missed five straight cuts in front of a T-16 last week.

For now, however, he’s the lowly Cameron. And nowadays that means you really golf your ball.

Webb Simpson competed this week as the FedEx Cup Bubble Boy at number 125. And while he may have a bit of cushion thanks to all those LIV Golf defectors, the seven-time PGA Tour winner certainly wouldn’t mind putting on a strong performance giving him some breathing room. So far, so good.

Simpson opened at 66, and afterwards he wrote that he had been training hard during his week off.

“I flew out to Vegas and did a little bit of work on my golf swing,” Simpson said. “I’m just trying to lengthen my backswing and follow through a little more to take out a little bit of that face rotation so my miss shots are a little bit better and I’m hitting more shots, quality shots with good shots, which I’m struggling with a bit.” to hit the ball solidly every time. So today I hit pretty much every shot solid except for one.”

It wasn’t his best season, but the result was another reminder of just how good Simpson has been since joining the PGA Tour. Check out this striking statistic from Justin Ray, Head of Content for Twenty First Group:

In other words, where that came from, there’s potentially a lot more to it.


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