Tony Finau never stopped fighting, even after a triple bogey in Saturday’s third round pretty much took him out of contention to win the U.S. Open.

Finau, 34 and the father of five, bounced back in a big way on Father’s Day Sunday and finished in a tie for third at Pinehurst Golf Resort’s No. 2 Course, firing a closing-round 3-under 67 to leap up the leaderboard.

Finau finished at 4-under 276, just two shots behind champion Bryson DeChambeau, now a two-time U.S. Open winner.

Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who spent a summer in Utah playing on the state’s junior golf circuit when he was 12, missed a couple short putts down the stretch and placed second at 5-under 275.

“It’s the best,” Finau said in the interview room after playing the back nine in 3-under 32, his son Sage sitting on his lap. “Walking off the 18th green, I always feel like a winner when I see my wife and my kids. That’s a win in my book.”

The other Utahn in the 156-player field, former BYU and Fremont High standout Zac Blair, closed with a 2-over 72 and finished in a six-way tie for 26th, his best finish in a major.

DeChambeau earned $4.3 million for the win from the record-breaking $21.5 million purse; Finau gets more than $1.2 million for tying with Patrick Cantlay for third, while Blair pockets $149,971.

Finau began his round with bogeys on holes 2 and 4 but recovered by playing the final 14 holes in 5-under. The round got jumpstarted with an eagle on the 587-yard par-5 fifth hole.

“I knew I was going to need a special one, a really special one today, to have a chance to win. I just didn’t get off to the start I needed to,” Finau said. “It was one of those days where I started out flat, swing wasn’t quite there, putter didn’t show great.

“I fought my way back,” he continued. “I was really proud of the way I hung in there all week, especially the way I played today. I thought that back nine was awesome. To finish out my front nine, yeah, I was proud of the way I fought.”

Finau finished the tournament tied for 19th in fairways hit (42 of 56), while Blair was tied for third in that statistical category (46 of 56).

“I knew the game was trending (up) coming into this week. I gave myself a chance to win a major championship. I can only take positives from this. It’s the best performance I’ve had all year, no question,” Finau said.

“Luckily for me, we still have one more major to go this year. I’m going to take a a lot of positives and confidence moving forward.”

It was Finau’s best finish in a major since he placed third alone in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019, a tournament won by Shane Lowry.

8
Comments

It was Finau’s best U.S. Open finish since he placed fifth alone at Shinnecock Hills in 2018.

“The fans were incredible. It was awesome to have the support of the fans. I feel like they were so supportive of all the guys in the final groups over the last couple days, really all week,” Finau said.

“The golf course was set up great. You had to hit high-quality shots to finish under par this week. I was one of the fortunate ones to do that.”

Ten years ago, Blair finished tied for 40th at Pinehurst in the U.S. Open. He tied for 53rd last month in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.