My strategy was to birdie all the par fives out there. The key to playing this course is to score on all the par fives and I knew in the final round, with a lead, if I did that I'd have a great chance to hold on for the win. —Tony Finau
PROVO — Tony Finau stepped out of the Canadian Tour just long enough to defend his Provo Open title Saturday, firing a final round seven-under par 66 on a day he made eight birdies at East Bay Golf Course.
Finau cruised around East Bay at 18-under par for the three-day test and pocketed a check for $3,000.
The former Golf Channel Big Break star, who lives in Lehi, shot 10-under 62 in the first round of the 54-hole affair and finished four shots ahead of two-time champion Nick Killpack, who had rounds of 65-68-69 to finish at 14-under 202.
Finau had 23 birdies and no eagles in the 74th annual tournament in Provo, but kidded around at the trophy ceremony that he shot a 62 and barely won.
"No, Tony was very good," Killpack said. "He opened the door a little today then shut the rest of us right down. He is so good, so long and his putting speed is outstanding."
Killpack climbed within stroke when Finau four-putted a par-4 for a double bogey. But Finau, who hit a lot of three-woods and conservatively aimed away from all the water at East Bay, kept the field at bay with 23 birdies in 54 holes.
Garner Davis and low amateur Cole Ogden tied for third, seven shots behind Finau. Derek Fox and senior Jimmy Blair were eight strokes back at 208, or 9-under.
"My strategy was to birdie all the par fives out there," Finau said. "The key to playing this course is to score on all the par fives and I knew in the final round, with a lead, if I did that I'd have a great chance to hold on for the win."