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Tony Finau closes deal with record-breaking Rocket Mortgage Classic victory

Matt Charboneau, The Detroit News on

Published in Golf

DETROIT— Before each season, Tony Finau writes down his goals.

Entering 2021-22, Finau had two that stood out — win multiple events and capture the FedExCup championship.

One of those was checked off Sunday at the Detroit Golf Club, and the second suddenly seems much more attainable than it did a few weeks ago.

Finau, the 16th-ranked player in the world entering the week, fired a 5-under 67 to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic at 26 under, a record winning score in the fourth playing of the tournament. It was his second straight victory after winning last week's 3M Open near Minneapolis, and with one week left in the regular season, he's moved up to seventh in the FedExCup standings with at least a chance at making a run for the season-ending championship and the $18 million top prize.

Not bad for a guy who had built a reputation as a player who couldn't close the deal.

"I put myself in situations to win before, haven't been able to do it," Finau said. "But I'm very optimistic. I've always been that way. I've always had hope and faith that things will turn out if I just keep working hard and putting myself there.

 

"But I'm proud of the way that I fought through adversity through my career and now I'm a back-to-back champion. That's what happens. They say a winner is just a loser that just kept on trying, and that's me to a T. How many times do I lose?

"But one thing I won't do is give up and I'm only here as a winner because I chose not to give up and just keep going."

Finau proved his mettle last week, rallying from a five-shot deficit in the final round before putting together a nearly flawless week at Detroit Golf Club. His one and only bogey over 72 holes came on No. 11 on Sunday, but birdies on two of the next three holes provided him all the cushion he needed as he finished five clear of Taylor Pendrith, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Young, who all tied for second at 21 under.

"When I got to 14 tee, my goal was to birdie 14 and 17," Finau said. "If I could do that, I knew I was going to win the golf tournament and I was able to do that. I was just proud of the way I finished. I thought that this week I was able to prove to myself the champion that I feel like I am."

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