I was able to just somehow get it in the hole when I needed to and, yeah, it's such a gratifying feeling right now. —Tony Finau
SALT LAKE CITY — For the second straight year, a Utah native will be playing in the Masters next year, not to mention all four of golf’s major tournaments in 2018.
Salt Lake native Tony Finau earned those perks with a spectacular final round Sunday at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms GC near Chicago. Finau’s 7-under-par 64 was the second-best score of the day in the 70-golfer field and vaulted him from 39th on the FedEx Cup standings to No. 24. The top 30 golfers move into next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta.
Finau had opened the BMW tourney with a promising 65 on Thursday when he celebrated his 28th birthday but fell back with rounds of 72 and 70 and things were looking bleak for the West High grad. Some folks assumed his chances of making the Tour Championship were closed as he stood in a tie for 33rd place.
However, Finau came out on fire Sunday, making birdies on holes 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 to make the turn at 5-under 30. At the par-3 11th, he rolled in a 22-foot birdie from the edge of the green, before making his only bogey of the day at the par-5 14th hole with a poor drive.
After that, he still had some work left to secure a spot in the Tour Championship and he came through with a birdie at No. 15 when he chipped up within three feet of the cup and then birdied No. 18 when he chipped in from 18 feet.
“I was able to just somehow get it in the hole when I needed to and, yeah, it's such a gratifying feeling right now,” Finau said afterward.
Finau finished in a tie for seventh place with Jordan Spieth and earned $282,188 to bring his season earnings to $2,558,630.
The Tour Championship begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. The purse is $8,750,000 with a first prize of $1,530,000.
Finau has played in two U.S. Opens, two British Opens and three PGAs over the last three years and will be making his first Masters appearance next April.