Wednesday 21 November 2018

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk names Tony Finau as his final wild-card pick

Tony Finau plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Aronimink GC. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Finau plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Aronimink GC. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Tony Finau has been granted the last golden ticket. The 28-year-old was on Monday night confirmed as America’s final wildcard for this month’s Ryder Cup.

Finau, is only the third rookie in Jim Furyk's ranks as the US try to win on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years. The Salt Lake City pro, from Tongan and Samoan descent, earned his berth courtesy of a remarkable level of consistency, coupled with a propensity to embark on thrilling birdie spurts.

Finau has not won this year, but has racked up 11 top-10s and in his last 15 rounds has broken 70 each time. As soon as Xander Schaufelle failed to win the BMW Championship yesterday – coming third behind winner Keegan Bradley– his selection as the fourth pick following Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau was entirely obvious.

“He has an unbelievable body of work this year,” Jim Furyk, the US captain, said. “All those top-10 finishes, the play in big championships and majors, and his current form, a second, a fourth and an eighth in the [FedEx Cup] play-offs. He checked a lot of boxes and made it impossible not to go for him.”

In fact, Furyk’s mind was probably made-up in the second round of last month’s USPGA Championship when he played with him and watched him equal the tournament record in making 10 birdies. The big-hitter seems heaven-sent for the fourballs.

For his part, Finau, the world No 17, was suitably overawed. “It’s a dream come true,” said Finau. “I got the goosebumps when Jim told me.”

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport