Finau ‘prime to go on a run,’ eyes Mexico repeat

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Tony Finau finished the 2023 season with a flourish and has started the 2024 campaign on the right foot as well.

Finau looks to successfully defend his title at The Mexico Open at Vidanta starting Thursday when he tees off at the par-71 Vidanta Vallarta. He won his sixth career PGA Tour title by defeating world No. 3 Jon Rahm of Spain by 3 strokes in 2023, one year after finishing in a tie for second at the tournament.

Finau, 34, hasn’t missed a cut in five starts this season. He finished T6 at the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 24-27 and T19 at the Genesis Invitational last week.

The run started at the close of last season. After not finishing higher than T32 in a stretch of six tournaments starting with the PGA Championship in May, Finau closed the 2022-23 season with three top-10 finishes over his past six events and a T20 at the Tour Championship.

“Yeah, I feel prepared. I’ve done some good work in the offseason with my body just to be strong,” Finau said Tuesday. “This golf course yields some birdies and I can really swing the driver with some freedom out here as there’s a few holes that are pretty lenient as far as hitting areas, so I love that, being able to hit it hard and play this type of golf course. I do feel like I’m prime to go on a run starting this week.”

Finau expects to be a busy man, however. He told reporters Tuesday that he will be playing competitive golf during the day and with his family on the par-3 course at night.

“I think we reserved a tee time there about 8:00 every night and we’ll be there with my boys playing pretty much every evening,” Finau said. “That’s definitely at the top of our list of things we enjoy here at Vidanta.”

Finau, however, isn’t mixing up his priorities.

“Yeah, there’s definitely different feelings coming back to a golf course that you’ve had success,” the six-time winner on the PGA Tour said. “I would say more obligations than anything else. Once you get on the golf course, you know it’s a course that you’ve had success and you’ve won before, so you definitely have that sense of confidence I think walking around a place that you’ve won before. Hopefully that’s the case this week.

“This golf course is high on my list as far as courses that look good to me and that I like, so I’ll be looking to definitely get after it again this week and try and defend this title.”

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