Tony Finau wins again on PGA Tour; Henrik Stenson silvers with LIV Golf

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Tony Finau celebrates with the winner’s trophy after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on Sunday. (Carlos Osorio/The Bharat Express News)

Tony Finau walked away with the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on Sunday, becoming the first PGA Tour player in three years to win consecutive regular-season events.

Finau finished with a five-under 67 for a five-shot win and a tournament-record 26-under 262. Taylor Pendrith (72), Patrick Cantlay (66) and Cameron Young (68) tied for second.

Finau achieved his fourth win of his career, a third title in less than a year. He was the 3M Open winner last week in Minnesota, where he rallied five strokes to win three. Brendon Todd was the last to win twice in a row in the regular season and he did so in 2019.

A Salt Lake City native of Tongan-Samoan descent, Finau kicked off his success with the Northern Trust last August, where he took his first win in five years, starting 142 PGA Tour.

Finau ended another drought in Detroit, winning for the first time in six attempts when he held or split the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event. With his sixth birdie at number 17 and a closing par, he broke Nate Lashley’s tournament record of 25 under in 2019 during the inaugural PGA Tour event.

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The PGA Tour concludes the regular season at the Wyndham Championship next week. Players in the bubble have one last chance to finish in the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings to earn a spot in the playoffs and a full card next season.

LIV Golf

BEDMINSTER, NJ — Henrik Stenson’s decision that cost him the Ryder Cup captaincy immediately paid off as the Swede won the LIV Golf Invitational in Bedminster, raising more than $4 million for three days of work.

Leading three shots into the third and final round over Trump National, Stenson opened with a 20-foot birdie putt and never led anyone closer than two shots the rest of the way.

He finished with a two-under 69 for a two-stroke win over Matthew Wolf (64) and Dustin Johnson, who birdied the last hole for a 68.

Stenson, five years away from beating a field of more than 20 players, was awarded $4 million for winning and another $375,000 for his team finishing second.

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The big payout — not including a signing bonus reportedly around $50 million — comes less than two weeks after Stenson decided to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.

Stenson had pledged his full support for the European tour when he captained the Ryder Cup and March, and the tour stripped him of the job four months later when he changed his mind.

He finished 11-under 202.

LPGA tour

IRVINE, Scotland — Japan’s Ayaka Furue birdies six straight in the middle of her round, then recovered from four shots behind with a 10-under 62 to win the Women’s Scottish Open for her first LPGA Tour title.

Furue, a seven-time winner of Japan’s LPGA – once an amateur – became the second rookie to win the LPGA Tour this year, and she did it in style at Dundonald Links.

The 22-year-old started the final round with four shots behind Celine Boutier of France, finished the top nine with four straight birdies and added two more to start the back nine. She never gave up and went bogey-free to win by three.

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Boutier was still in good shape until he made three bogeys on the back nine for a 69.

Furue finished 21-under 267 and won $300,000 along with valuable momentum for the final major of the year next week at the Women’s British Open in Muirfield.

European Tour for Women

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — American Sean Crocker held off a tough challenge from Eddie Pepperell to claim his first European tour title with a wire-to-wire victory at the Hero Open.

Crocker closed with a four-under 68 at Fairmont St. Andrews to finish 22-under par and one shot for Pepperell, who had increased the pressure with a closing 65.

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in California, Crocker lost his lead of two strokes into the night early in the final lap as Pepperell and Dane Oliver Hundeboll both got off to a flying start but birdied in sixth and another three in four holes from the 10th re-established his lead before Pepperell’s birdie on the 18th made for a nervous finish.

Pepperell reached 32nd place after the second of his two wins in 2018, but struggled in recent seasons, taking his first-place finish in the top five in three years.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.