Farmers Insurance Open notes: Tony Finau keeps rolling, Max Homa's hot mic

Jeff Sanders, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

SAN DIEGO — Yes, Tony Finau got hot on Friday. His fuse, however, was lit a day earlier when a birdie putt on his last hole on Torrey Pines’ North Course slipped him into the weekend field.

“Sometimes making the cut on the number is almost new life,” Finau said after firing an 8-under 64 to vault him from tied for 54th all the way into third place after the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open. “Especially, the whole day I was on the outside looking in. That’s pretty much how I looked at it. I had to … play a really nice back nine yesterday just to be playing the weekend, so I felt like I had new life.”

He didn’t waste it.

Owner of the low round so far on the South, Finau bagged four birdies on his front nine and two on the back, including two-putting for birdie on his last hole to leave him one shot off Nick Watney’s South Course record from 2011.

Of course, the real haymaker of Finau’s round was his eagle on the turn. A 308-yard tee shot split the fairway on the par-4, 448-yard No. 1; he then bounced the ball into the cup from there from 138 yards out.

“Just a perfect little pitching wedge, a little flighted draw and hit it perfect and it landed right in the middle of the slope and just spun right into the hole,” Finau said. “So that was really exciting. That’s when the round kind of got my attention, the juices started to flow a little bit as I was making kind of a run there.”


Finau credited his putter for his turnaround, although he made sure not to give away any secrets too early. The metrics say he lost 5.025 strokes on his 34 putts on the South on Wednesday (1-over) and gained 3.088 on his 27 putts on the same course Friday.

Asked about his specific adjustment in his setup, Finau smiled: “Yeah, we’re going to hold that close to the chest because we’re not done with this tournament yet. Obviously didn’t feel as good over it the last couple days and felt better over it today.”

He said what?

Bottom line, Max Homa understands he’s an entertainer. So when Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, sent him a clip of former Dodgers’ shortstop Trea Turner making plays while on the microphone up for a broadcast, the 32-year-old SoCal native was game.


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