Tony Finau ran away with the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday at Detroit Golf Club to become the first PGA Tour player in three years to win consecutive regular-season events.
Finau closed with a 5-under-par 67 for a five-shot victory and a tournament-record 26-under 262 total. Taylor Pendrith (72), Patrick Cantlay (66), and rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young (68) tied for second.
Finau coasted to his fourth career victory, a third title in 11-plus months. He was the 3M Open winner last week in Minnesota, where he rallied from five strokes back to win by three. Brendon Todd was the last to win two straight in the regular season, doing it in 2019.
Finau, the Salt Lake City native with Tongan-Samoan heritage, began his stretch of success last August at The Northern Trust, where he had his first victory in five years and 142 PGA Tour starts.
Finau stopped another drought in Detroit, winning for the first time in six attempts when he had or shared the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event. With his sixth birdie at No. 17 and a closing par, he broke Nate Lashley’s tournament record of 25 under set in 2019 during the inaugural PGA Tour event.
The PGA Tour will close the regular season at the Wyndham Championship. Players on the bubble will have one last shot 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 — Henrik Stenson’s decision that cost him the European Ryder Cup captaincy paid large and immediate dividends when he won the LIV Golf Invitational at Bedminster and picked up more than $4 million for three days’ work.
Staked to a three-shot lead going into the third and final round at Trump National, Stenson opened with a 20-foot birdie putt and never let anyone closer than two shots the rest of the way.
He closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory over Matthew Wolf (64) and Dustin Johnson, who birdied the last hole for a 68.
Stenson, five years removed from beating a field of more than 20 players, picked up $4 million for winning and an additional $375,000 for his team finishing second.
The big payoff — not including a signing bonus reported to be about $50 million — comes less than two weeks after the 46-year-old Swede decided to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
Stenson had pledged full support to the European tour when he became Ryder Cup captain and March, and the tour stripped him of the job four months later when he changed his mind.
“I guess we can agree I played like a captain,” Stenson said on the LIV Golf telecast.
He finished at 11-under 202.
Asked by the LIV-paid broadcaster if he felt validated by the win, Stenson chose not to engage and replied, “It’s been a good first week.”
The LIV Golf Invitational is off for a month during the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour, returning over Labor Day weekend about an hour west of Boston.
LPGA — Ayaka Furue of Japan ran off six straight birdies in the middle of her round and rallied from a four-shot deficit with a 10-under 62 to win the Women’s Scottish Open for her first LPGA Tour title.
A seven-time winner on the Japan LPGA — once as an amateur — Furue became the second rookie to win on the LPGA Tour this year, and she did it in style at Dundonald Links in Irvine, Scotland.
Starting the final round four shots behind Celine Boutier of France, the 22-year-old finished the front nine with four straight birdies and added two more to start the back nine. She never let up, playing bogey-free to win by three.
“I was four shots back. I thought it would be difficult to catch the top, good players. But I’m very happy I played good golf and I was able to come out as a winner,” Furue said. “I had the right mind-set. I thought I had to go low, and I played very well.”
Boutier was still in good shape until making three bogeys on the back nine for a 69.
“I started making some bogeys and I feel like it’s not easy, playing in the final group. Then obviously when someone just has their day, you just can’t do anything about it really,” she said.
Furue finished at 21-under 267 and won $300,000.
Hyo Joo Kim (66) and Cheyenne Knight (67) tied for third, four shots behind. Lydia Ko, the 36-hole leader, faded to a 71-71 weekend and tied for fifth.
European — American Sean Crocker held off a spirited challenge from Eddie Pepperell to claim his first European tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Hero Open in Scotland. Crocker carded a final-round 68 at Fairmont St Andrews to finish 22-under par and a shot ahead of Pepperell, who had piled on the pressure with a closing 65.