GOLF

TPC Harding Park Plays To Tony Finau’s Strength In Upcoming PGA Championship

Aug 5, 2020, 2:24 PM
Tony Finau...
Photo courtesy of Abigail Keenan for the Tony Finau Foundation

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – TPC Harding Park, the location of the upcoming PGA Championship, plays to the strengths of Tony Finau. With it’s long, narrow fairways, driving the golf ball will be at a premium this week, Finau’s strongest aspect of his game.

The golf course is also playing soft, meaning that once the golf ball hits the short grass it is not going to continue to roll. Finau thrives when the fairways are slow, it allows him to swing the driver hard, with a lot of power and place the golf ball. When the fairway’s are running fast, Finau has a tendency to hit the ball through the short grass and into the rough, he will not have to worry about that this week.

Finau is currently ranked 19th in driving distance, averaging 308 yards per drive. However, the last few weeks Finau has added more yards to his tee shot due to the transformation that his fellow colleague Bryson Dechambeau has achieved.

“It no doubt inspired me. I don’t think what he’s doing is rocket science but it’s executing at that speed. Being able to see him swing that fast and hit it that straight got me thinking a little bit,” Finau said. “I tried it out there on a couple of drives and was able to execute, so I think I’m going to start putting them into my game.”

TPC Harding Park Scorecard

TPC Harding Park is a course that consists of three par 5’s with the longest being the 5th hole that stretches 606 yards. Furthermore, the ten par 4’s on the scorecard are balanced between both long and short, the longest being the 467 yard 14th hole and the shortest coming on the 336 yard 16th.

Being at sea level will impact the distance of golf shots, the wind and weather will play a significant role throughout this week’s PGA Championship.

Tournament Forecast

The forecast suggests that the temperature will not get higher than the mid ’60sT, the wind and rain will likely make the golf course feel cooler than it is. During the practice rounds, many players including Finau, have been wearing long weather pants and sweaters to remain warm.

Finau will also need to have a better green in regulation percentage if he intends on challenging for PGA Championship glory this week. Currently, he is ranked 55th on the Tour hitting the green on just 68.97 percent of the time.

With the rough being so viscous at TPC Harding Park, Finau will need to increase that percentage. Missing the green will likely prove costly this week.

“If you hit the ball in the rough, there is no guarantee that you can reach the green in two (shots) this week so if I am going to miss the fairway I would like to be as close to the hole as possible,” Finau said during his press conference on Tuesday.

Finau’s first two rounds will be played alongside Patrick Cantlay and Danny Willet, the trio will begin their Thursday and Friday rounds at 8:27 a.m and 1:52 p.m. respectively.

Golf content on KSLSports.com is sponsored by Heber Valley Golf Courses.

Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.

 

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