Tony Finau, a fine young man, whom I remember from nearly ten years ago when he and his younger brother competed in a season of The Big Break, captured his first PGA Tour title yesterday.
In the opposite event to the World Match Play, Finau won on the 3rd playoff hole against winless Steve Marino to take the Puerto Rico Open.
Finau is a athletic specimen, standing 6’4″ and who in his 2nd season on Tour currently leads the Tour driving distance stats with nearly 315 yards per pop, with an average club impact speed of 125.12 mph (3rd highest).
Being tall and athletic is a sure-fire recipe for being a big hitter, but you’ll also notice that Tony is a modern golf swing player.
This would be a cause for concern on my part were I keeping watch over him, as he won’t be 26 and flexible and physically fit as a fiddle forever.
Tony Finau At The Top – Dtl
And what I view as a shortish back-swing (planted-heel restricted hip pivots will do that to you), with that quick change of direction at the top – you’re looking at another great, athletic swinger risking lower back injuries in the future by simple virtue of the swing model he’s using.
That top position above – a very short back swing with which to generate impact speed averages of 125 mph, and as he gets older, if that back swing stays this short, he’ll need an even quicker change of direction with harder driving legs, and that just doesn’t ever end well for power swingers.
I caught the last few holes of the 4th round and the playoff, and Finau was blowing everything right with his driver.
If you look again at his top position – again, not a lot of space and time to get square to the ball at impact with a 125 mph swing…
Still, he’s great extension on the follow-through, nice release action on the proper angle rather than the “swing left” stuff we usually see, so it’s not the worst thing in the world compared to, say, Jason Day’s change of direct and impact-extension phase.
Finau Releases – DTL
Tony Finau likely has a long and successful PGA Tour career ahead of him – if that back and the hips stay healthy with his modern golf swing move.
I always that the time to change is before any injury hits, not afterward.
Afterward is still better than never, just not optimal.
And here’s to hoping fervently that Finau doesn’t become another member of the Wax Golf post-analysis injury jinx club – I like this kid!
But then, Jason Day is my favorite player, and I can hear a clock ticking with deafening volume, with an arrow pointed straight at his lower back.