American Finau wins playoff to capture marathon Northern Trust

New York (AFP) –


Tony Finau snapped a lengthy winless drought, outlasting Cameron Smith in a playoff at the marathon Northern Trust tournament which needed a Monday finish and an extra hole to determine the winner.

This is the second win of the American's career and comes 1,975 days and 143 starts since Finau’s first PGA Tour victory at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.

"It feels amazing. I knew I had to get to 20 under. That was my goal starting the day. I was able to do it," he said of the biggest win of his pro career which began in 2007.

Finau cruised to victory by making par on the extra hole in the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Organizers had to move the final round to Monday after 23 centimetres (nine inches) of rain fell on the golf course over the weekend. That made for difficult conditions in the final round as shots plugged in the ground and sometimes landed in puddles that dotted the course.

Finau closed with a six-under 65 in regulation and 20-under 264 total, then carried his strong play over into the playoff.

The same couldn't be said for his Aussie opponent Smith who virtually handed the win to Finau on par-four 18 extra hole by smoking his tee shot out of bounds. Smith had to hit a second tee shot but there was no turning back with the way Finau was playing.

Finau also had to leapfrog over Jon Rahm by shooting a 30 on the back nine. Rahm appeared to be on his way to victory but made two bogeys in his final four holes to drop out of contention. Rahm shot 69 to finish at 18-under, two strokes back of the leaders.

The Northern Trust featured the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings. The top 70 from this week will move on to the BMW Championship, which tees off in Maryland on Thursday.