Tony Finau will be the first native Utahn to play in the prestigious Ryder Cup matches when he represents the United States in the biennial event later this month in France.
The 28-year-old Finau, who grew up in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City and now resides in Lehi with his wife and four children, was officially named to the U.S. squad by captain Jim Furyk Monday afternoon following the BMW Championship.
Finau had been expected to get the 12th and final spot on the Ryder Cup team based on his overall play, particularly of late. After finishing second and a tie for fourth in the first two FedEx Cup playoff events, he ended up eighth at the BMW as he finished strong with a 5-under-par 65 in Monday’s rain-delayed final round. It marked his 11th top-10 finish this season.
“I’ve still got goosebumps,” Finau said after receiving a phone call from Furyk. “I’m just ecstatic. I don’t know if I can really put it into words. All the emotions that come with accomplishing something like that … man, it’s a dream come true for me.”
Furyk explained his decision for choosing Finau, on the Ryder Cup website.
"What an unbelievable body of work this year," Furyk said of Finau. "All the top-10 finishes, the play in the big championships and the majors, and then the current form, with a second, a fourth and an eighth (in the FedEx Cup Playoffs). He checked a lot of boxes and made it impossible not to pick him. I'm excited to add him to the team. Tony played well in big moments this year."
The other main contender for the final spot, Xander Schauffele, was expected by some to grab the final spot if he won the BMW tournament, but he just missed out on a playoff by one shot and tied for third place.
The Ryder Cup matches will be played Sept. 28-30 at the Albatros Course of Le Golf National, just outside of Paris. Finau has already played the course as he was invited to play there the week before the Open Championship in Scotland.
The eight players who qualified on Ryder Cup points are Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Bubba Watson. Last week, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau were added as the first three captain's picks.
Two other golfers with Utah ties have played for the U.S. Ryder Cup team – former BYU golfer Johnny Miller, who played in 1975 and 1981, and Billy Casper, who played in eight Ryder Cups and later settled in Utah with his family.