‘You possibly can’t sugarcoat it’: Tony Finau misses once more, and it is not getting any simpler

LA QUINTA, Calif. – This isn’t going to get any simpler.

Tony Finau will say the rights issues. He’ll flash the well mannered smile and purpose that this simply wasn’t his week.

Sunday’s loss at The American Categorical isn’t the hardest of a rising variety of near-misses for Finau, and the neutral observer has to permit for the buzzsaw Finau bumped into at PGA West.

For the fourth time in his profession, Finau took at the very least a share of the lead into the ultimate spherical at a PGA Tour cease, and he closed with 4-under 68 and by no means had an opportunity.

After opening his day with back-to-back birdies to maneuver away from the sphere, Finau may solely watch as Si Woo Kim, who he was paired with, and Patrick Cantlay took a blowtorch to the Stadium Course.

Cantlay, who made the lower on the quantity on Friday after which added 20 birdies on the weekend, closed with a 61 that included a clutch 37-footer on the final gap for birdie that was speculated to drive a playoff. Kim, who didn’t make a bogey over the weekend, loved his personal theatrics with a 19-footer on the island-green 17th gap for a one-stroke victory.

American Categorical win boosting Kim’s confidence

Finau may solely watch. Many will say he’s watched an excessive amount of in his profession. They’ll whisper {that a} participant along with his skillset and need must be constructing a Corridor-of-Fame resume, not grinding away on the lookout for his second Tour title.

He hears these assessments. He hears all of it and though he would possibly say all the best issues in these uncomfortable moments, know that the straightforward smile is a masks for a competitor that burns.

“He by no means says, man, it simply wasn’t my time, as a result of it’s all the time his time,” Finau’s swing coach Boyd Summerhays stated. “We might have thought he would have received his second title by now. You’d have thought that. The followers would have thought that, which is why, behind the scenes, I’ve by no means seen him work as arduous as he has the final yr.”

Finau, whose first and solely Tour victory was in Puerto Rico in 2016, appeared to recommend as a lot after ending alone in fourth place. No loss is painless, however given how Sunday performed out he was content material to depart this explicit cup half full.

“Normally once I stroll off the 72nd gap I’ve a fairly good sense of how lengthy it may sting. I am fairly inspired proper now,” Finau stated. “I’ve received to get a little bit bit higher to win once more, so it is an encouraging week on plenty of ranges.”

But when the smile got here a little bit simpler this explicit Sunday, know that with every passing loss the bags solely grows. Finau has probably the most top-10 finishes on Tour (35) with out a victory because the begin of the 2016-17 season and probably the most runner-up finishes (six) with out a win throughout that very same window.

“You possibly can’t sugarcoat it, each event that goes by makes it tougher, there’s no different approach to take a look at it,” Summerhays stated.

The American Express: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Summerhays defined that in a twisted approach Finau’s extended drought has solely made him an even bigger, stronger, quicker participant. He’s a extra full participant who most likely wouldn’t have pushed himself so arduous had success come early and infrequently.

Sunday’s loss at PGA West will solely intensify that inside scrutiny and there’s no probability he wants anybody to remind him that the wait continues.

A type of defeats that did go away a mark was final yr’s Waste Administration Phoenix Open, the place he misplaced a playoff to Webb Simpson. Three weeks in the past Finau was enjoying an informal spherical at TPC Scottsdale along with his son, Jraice, and Summerhays. Finau chipped in on the par-4 17th gap for eagle. “If you happen to would have achieved that [at the Waste Management Phoenix Open] you’ll have received,” Jraice Finau jabbed.

Finau laughed on the dig, nevertheless it was one other reminder that it isn’t going to get any simpler.

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