Latest News

Farmers Insurance Open: Finau in position to win again, Hovland's spectacular 65 grabs lead

0

SAN DIEGO – Tony Finau is in position to win.

Again.

With a 5-under-par 67 on the North Course in Friday’s second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, a round that featured brutal conditions including spells of rain, hail – yes, hail – high winds and icy temperatures, Finau moved to 8 under and in a familiar spot – on the first page of the leaderboard.

But what has become unfamiliar to Finau is the winner’s circle.

Despite his abundance of power and talent, despite playing in a Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and despite finishing in the top-10 34 times around the world since the start of 2017 – six of those being of the runner-up variety – Finau is still sitting on one PGA Tour title – the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, an opposite field event.

Farmers Insurance OpenLeaderboard | Photos

It’s been a puzzling stretch of strong play that’s only lacked a victory. Many in golf circle’s have scratched their heads while saying Finau should have won his second title by now, let alone a third and a fourth and beyond. Others have questioned whether or not one of the nicest players you will ever meet lacks a killer instinct. A few have wondered if inner demons arrive on Sundays and haunt him psychologically.

His latest close call came in last week’s American Express in the southern California desert, where he shared the 54-hole lead, birdied the first two holes in the final round but got passed by Si Woo Kim and finished fourth.

All Finau said he can do is keep putting himself in position to win No. 2. If he’s having sleepless nights during this winless stretch, he hasn’t shown it.

“Not very long,” Finau said when asked how long it took him to get over the American Express. “I was pretty enthusiastic. I wasn’t playing some great golf I feel like before, the couple weeks leading up, practice sessions and things, but I was pleased after last week and think it’s showing this week.

“There’s some mistakes I for sure made on Sunday, but there’s mistakes I made throughout the week so I can’t single out Sunday as being the reason why (I didn’t win). I wasn’t able to play and finish a few shots better to win the golf tournament, but I was very encouraged after I left last week on some of the things I’ve been working on. It’s been nice to put together 36 holes, a good 36 to start this week.

“At the end of the day sports is about winning. I’m at that point in my career where it is about winning and every week I tee it up I challenge myself to put myself in contention to do that and I’ve done that nicely here with 36 holes to go.”

Viktor Hovland during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines – South Course. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Finau has plenty of company at the top of the leaderboard.

Viktor Hovland shot a terrific 7-under-par 65 on the difficult South Course – the best score on the South this week – to gain a one-shot lead. The round included a 4-under-par 32 on the back nine (his first nine) and a finishing birdie on the front nine. To make just one bogey on a day like Friday, on a course like the South, says something about the talent possessed by Hovland.

On his tail at 8 under are Finau, 2017 Farmers champion Jon Rahm (67 on the North), Adam Scott (69 on the South), Lanto Griffin (70 on the South), Ryan Palmer (70 on the North), and first-round leader Patrick Reed (72 on the South).

Three others players are at 7 under, three more at 6 under.

“The last couple weeks I’ve been in Oklahoma and it’s been really cold, so I’ve had probably three, four layers on practicing and I think that’s helped me for this week,” Hovland said. “It got really cold and obviously raining and hail, so being Norwegian, I think that also helps. Just played really solid and made some putts.

“I think especially playing a tough course like the South Course, you can’t really fake it, especially in these conditions. Playing a hard golf course and then playing well, that I think is what gives me the ultimate kind of belief that I played really well today. You just can’t really fake it. But it’s another day tomorrow and we’ve got two more rounds left, so it’s definitely not going to roll over and give anything to you.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/29/farmers-insurance-open-finau-win-again-hovlands-spectacular-65-grabs-lead/

Why Rory McIlroy isn't winning, according to a former Ryder Cup captain

Previous article

Brooks Koepka tried to snap his driver, but it didn't break — here's why

Next article

You may also like

Comments

Comments are closed.

More in Latest News