Finau and Summerhays struggle at the PGA Championship

Charlotte, N.C. • Tony Finau and Daniel Summerhays finished the PGA Championship on Sunday at Quail Hollow Club with their final rounds of 3-over 74 and 6-over 77, respectively.

Finau finished with a 4-over total in a tie for 44th while Summerhays ended up tied for 71st at 12 over. Both men were competing in their third PGA Championships, with Summerhays coming off a third-place finish last year that got him into his first Masters last April.

So what did Finau, who’s ranked 26th as of press time in the FedEx Cup standings, takeaway from his seventh major?

“I played some really good golf, that’s what I love most about this game,” Finau said. “I had a better finish at the British, but my game didn’t really feel very good (this week), especially the final round. I was kind of searching a little bit, and this is how it is.”

Even if he was searching, Finau still had the wherewithal to understand it’s the ‘search’ that draws him to the game, and the ensuing competition amongst the best golf has to offer.

“I felt like I had it in the tank to shoot a good one these last couple days and I wasn’t able to do it but I enjoy the stress level, and the competition, and how tough it is to compete at this level,” Finau said.

Looking back, he regrets not feeling as prepared at this course as he could have  been, “I hit some shots that ended up in spots that surprised me,” Finau said, but all in all he takes a positive approach going into his week off this week before the FedEx Cup Playoffs start in late August at Glen Oaks Club for the Northern Trust Open.

“I like where my game is at, I’m still in a great position to get to the Tour Championship which has been my goal all season and I think I’ll still be in the top 30, and going into the playoffs I think that’s still a great position to be in,” Finau said. “At least it’s easier to maintain position than try to move up. Whenever you’re inside it’s better than the outside looking in.”

Speaking of outside, Summerhays stands at 124th in the FedEx Cup standings, as of press time, and is fighting to keep his full-time playing privileges for next year on the PGA Tour. Those players who finish in the top 125 automatically qualify for the playoffs and keep their full-time card, those who finish from 126-150 lose their full-time status and hold conditional status. So this week’s Wyndham Championship will be vital to Summerhays’ future.

“It is what it is,” Summerhays’ brother and coach, Boyd Summerhays, said. “It’s been a tough year for him overall, following up last year after his top 10s at the PGA and U.S. Open. I know this wasn’t the year he wanted this year after his best season ever, but he’s got one more week to get into the playoffs and then you never know what happens there. Guys can still get to the Tour Championship, it’s a crazy game.”

Boyd is confident that next week’s course at Sedgefield Country Club sets up well for Daniel’s game.

“It’s a good course for him there next week so I expect him to get the job done,” Boyd Summerhays said.

Finau understands that his friend and fellow Utahn is in for a tough challenge ahead at Wynham this week.

“I wish him the best, hopefully he plays well.,” Finau said. “We have a lot of lunches and dinners out here (on Tour) so I’d miss him if he’s not here next year. So I’m for sure hoping the best for him next week and at least he’s on the inside and not on the outside looking in.”

It’s hard to say exactly what kind of finish Summerhays will need to lock up a spot in the top 125, some of it depends on how other players around the bubble perform, but Finau has a number in mind for his buddy.

“I think next week a top 30 or 40 will probably lock it up for him,” Finau said. “You just never know. I’ll definitely be watching because of him. He’s kind of the bubble guy, and you’ve got to follow the guys who are fighting for their card, that’s what this game is all about, get in those positions and see how they react.”

Boyd is fairly confident in his young brother’s ability to bounce back and respond next week to the bell.

“Honestly, he’s in a pretty good frame of mind, obviously he knows what he’s got to do,” Boyd said. “It’s not a great feeling, but he’s a tough guy, and I think he’ll get the job done.”

We will soon see.

Garrett Johnston is a sports writer and video producer. You can follow him on Twitter @johnstongarrett

from The Salt Lake Tribune


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