SALT LAKE CITY — Tony Finau is proving to be one of the most consistent players in the world at majors.
So maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise that with wind blowing and rain coming down, it was Finau that stayed steady on Sunday in the final round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
Finau may have only shot an even-par 71 on Sunday, his highest-scoring round of the tournament, but he was the only player in the final 10 groupings that didn’t shoot over par on the day.
In the end, that meant a third place finish at The Open for Finau. The Utah native finished the tournament at 7-under, eight shots back from winner Shane Lowry.
It was Finau's best career finish in a major. He was the top American in the field, finishing one stroke ahead of world No. 1 Brooks Koepka — and he leaves Northern Ireland with a check for $718,000.
Not a bad week for the Lehi resident.
Finau had two birdies and two bogeys on Sunday. But it may have been the 14 pars that were most impressive. It was that tough to score low on Sunday, especially late when last groupings took the course. Koepka, Rickie Fowler and second place finisher Tommy Fleetwood were all 3-over on the day and J.B. Holmes, the first-day leader, shot a disastrous 87.
With everyone around him faltering, Finau was able to climb up the leaderboard to a career-best day.
But no one — not Finau, or Kopeka, or Justin Rose, or Francesco Molinari, or anyone else — was any match for Lowry this week at Royal Portrush. The Irishman backed up his superb third round with a more-than-good-enough 1-over 72 on Sunday to win the Claret Jug by six strokes.
It was a storybook day for Lowry, who the entire region has rallied around this week, coming in droves to support the local player. And those fans spent Sunday celebrating as Lowry was never threatened during the round.
Finau’s own time to raise a major trophy, though, might be coming soon.
While Sunday’s finish marks his career-best major performance, Finau has gotten used to being on the first page of the leaderboard at the world’s biggest tournaments.
After this week’s Open Championship, Finau now has had five top-10 finishes in majors, including three top-fives in the last two seasons. He has two top-five finishes this season alone, after finishing in a tie for fifth at this year’s Masters.
That puts him among the best in the world. He just hasn’t been able to secure the major win — at least not yet.
Sunday showed that he’s inching closer to doing just that.