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Tony Finau Helps Lift USA To Monumental Lead Following Day One Of Ryder Cup

Tony Finau of team United States celebrates on the 10th green during Friday Afternoon Fourball Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 24, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tony Finau was on fire during his match against Europe this afternoon. The Utah native sunk seven birdies, the most of any player throughout the first day, on his way to gifting Team USA a valuable point.

Finau was partnered with Harris English and the two were able to close out an emphatic 4&3 victory over Rory Mcllroy and Shane Lowry.

“I have a lot of pride to play for my country,” Finau said immediately following the victory. “I love pressure and you have to in Ryder Cup situations, I have a great time in these atmospheres and we had a great time out there. I had a great partner in Harry [English] who picked me up whenever I was down and I was able to carry him when he was down.”

Finau extends his Ryder Cup winning record to 3-1-0. He is yet to lose in a Ryder Cup event.

Finau’s Putter Was on Fire

Much of the attention was on Finau who found fire with his putter. He simply could not miss, and the putting excellence began on the opening hole when he holed a 40 footer for birdie.

The match was all tied throughout the first four holes before Mcllroy sunk an eagle on the par 5 5th to five Europe the first blow of the match. Finau missed his eagle attempt by millimeters prior to Mcllroy finding the bottom of the cup.

But the tide quickly turned as Finau and English racked up four wins over the following five holes to find themselves up 3 holes through 10. Another victory came on the 13th after Finau threw a dart to seven feet that he capitalized on to give the USA a four-hole lead through 13.

On the 14th, Finau had a chance to end the match but his 15-foot look at birdie fell below the cup and the contest continues.

“I Love Pressure”

Finau and English missed the fairway left by a mile on the 15th fairway, but the European team of Mcllroy and Lowry also made a meal of the 15th tee. Finau was able to hit his second 15 yards short of the green, chipped on to eight feet, and secured the point by nestling his par putt into the bottom of the cup.

Earlier in the day, Mcllroy lost his foursome match. With the four-ball loss to Finau and English, it is the first time in his long Ryder Cup career that he has lost both matches on any particular day.

Currently, the USA leads Europe 5-1 with two matches still in play. The USA is leading in one of the other matches while Europe holds a lead in the other.

Regardless, the USA is expected to enter the second day of competition with a healthy lead. Much to the relief of USA captain Steve Stricker who calls Whistling Straits home.

Saturday’s Format

Saturday will bring another round of four-ball and foursomes. With the morning wave playing in a foursome format and the afternoon session being a four-ball format.

The pairings for the morning session are yet to be announced but are expected to be released later Friday evening.

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