Statistics Suggest Tony Finau Will Contend Again At Augusta National In 2021
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tony Finau has missed the cut at his previous two tournaments as he prepares for the biggest tournament of the year this week, The Masters.
Poor Form Entering
Finau’s form slump comes following a two-month period that saw the Salt Lake City native poach more Official World Golf Ranking points than anybody else in the world through the months of January and February. He finished back-to-back tournaments in second place as he continues his quest for a second PGA Tour victory.
The pressure is mounting on Finau to secure a second victory. It has been five years since his lone PGA Tour win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2016. Since 2016, Finau has spent a majority of the time positioned inside the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings and the FedEx Cup standings. He is constantly in contention, but unable to close on Sundays.
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Lee Elder. The Masters traditions. Behind the scenes with Team Finau.
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@summerhaysgolf @pgatour #golf #podcast #letsgetit #PGATOUR pic.twitter.com/YeDGmTbws1
— Tony Finau Golf (@tonyfinaugolf) April 5, 2021
Fortunately, if Finau is to emerge from his form slump, Augusta National is a golf course that has been kind to him in the past. Most notably in 2019 when he was paired with Tiger Woods in the final group on Sunday. He eventually finished in a tie for fifth as he watched the greatest player to ever strike a golf ball win his 15th major.
The one area of Finau’s game that has let him down throughout the 2021 PGA Tour season has been his putting. He averages .171 strokes gained in putting, which is good for 88th on the PGA Tour. The rest of his game ranks inside the top 40.
Putts Per Green Paramount
To win at Augusta National, Finau will be tested on the bentgrass greens. Lag putting, in particular, is key if Finau hopes to contend again this week. The slopes within the greens and the speed of putts will likely determine how Finau fairs this week. Inevitably, Finau will be faced with long, slippery putts that will test his touch.
During the 2019 Masters, Finau led the field in driving distance averaging 316.2 yards per drive. He hit 67.9% of fairways and averaged 2.382 putts per green. All areas of his game were thriving, he was driving the ball accurately and with distance off the tee, he was hitting 66.7% of greens in regulation and was putting the ball with precision.
Tony Finau has tied the Masters record with a 30 on the first nine.
He is now in the lead. pic.twitter.com/f8vAucgD9x
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 13, 2019
Strokes Gained Approach
Arguably the most important category to look at ahead of any Masters tournament is Strokes Gained Approach, fortunately, Finau is ranked 12th in this category which should give him and his beloved fans hope that he can claim his first Green Jacket. No player over the past decade has won The Masters entering the tournament with negative Strokes Gained Approach. Finau averages .766.
However, to win at Augusta, generally recent form is a good indicator how any player will fair. Finau’s form as mentioned above, has been less than impressive over the past month. He will need to quickly adapt and forget about the recent past if he intends on competing this week.
Never Missed A Cut
Finau has never missed at cut at Augusta, his worst finish came in 2020 when he finished in a tie for 38th. His debut Masters tournament occured in 2018 when he finished in a tie for 10th before securing his best finish at Augusta in 2019 with a tie for fifth.
Tony Finau finished 5th at the Masters and was the first to congratulate Tiger Woods on his victory. https://t.co/BU47y0HNsD
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) April 14, 2019
The time has come for Finau to return to his contending ways from the start of the year. Could 2021 be the year Finau secures his first green jacket, first major, and second PGA Tour victory?
Only time will tell.