Keep fighting, keep believing: Tony Finau shows the way

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Tony Finau poses with The Northern Trust trophy after beating Cameron Smith in the playoff at Liberty National on Monday. Photo: Deseret News
Tony Finau poses with The Northern Trust trophy after beating Cameron Smith in the playoff at Liberty National on Monday. Photo: Deseret News

Tony Finau defeated Cameron Smith in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at The Northern Trust.

Finau earned his second Tour title in his 189th career start at the age of 31 years, 11 months, 9 days.

The win comes 1,975 days and 143 starts since first victory at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.

In the 142 starts between victories, Finau recorded eight runner-up finishes and 39 top-10s.

He moves to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings for the first time in his career. Improves to 2-3 in playoffs on Tour (losses: 2018 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, 2021 The Genesis Invitational).

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14 consecutive Tour events have been won by players who trailed after each of the first three rounds; the last player to lead after any round and go on to win was Phil Mickelson at the 2021 PGA Championship (T1/R2, 1st/R3).

Smith, who carded a career-low and course-record-setting 60 in the third round, earned his second runner-up of the season and first since the 2020 Masters Tournament.

 

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Smith enters the BMW Championship at a career-high No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.

World No. 1 Jon Rahm, who held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds, played the final four holes in 2-over and finished solo third.

 

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The last unscheduled Monday finish on Tour was the 2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.

Keith Mitchell, who entered the week No. 101 in the FedExCup standings, made birdie on each of the final three holes to finish T8, moving to No. 63 in the FedExCup standings and qualifying for the BMW Championship (only player to birdie 16-17-18 in the final round).

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Harold Varner III (72 to 56 in the FedExCup standings) moved inside the cut line for the following FedExCup Playoffs event for the third time at THE NORTHERN TRUST (2017, 2019, 2021). The only other player to do so three or more times is Camilo Villegas (2011, 2013, 2015).

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