Even Colonial not too tight for Finau's driver


FORT WORTH, Texas – Colonial Country Club is an old-school track. It’s tight, it’s narrow and it’s supposed to take driver out of the hands of even the best players.

Just don’t tell that to Tony Finau.

Finau leads the PGA Tour in driving distance this season, averaging more than 311 yards per drive. While Colonial statistically yields some of the shortest average tee shots all year on Tour, Finau has kept the driver in play with great success through the first two rounds of the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Finau hit 11 drivers during an opening-round 68, then followed by hitting 10 drivers en route to a second-round 67. At 5 under, he is three shots behind clubhouse leader Webb Simpson and four off the pace of Bryce Molder, who will complete his second round Saturday morning.

“That’s the great thing about this golf course. It’s good for long hitters and it’s good for short hitters,” Finau said. “What I mean by that is, a lot of the flies on the bunkers are about 300, 310 yards, so it gives me the option to maybe hit over them if I wanted to and advance my ball up the fairway and play aggressive.

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“I think it’s a world-class golf course for that reason,” he added. “Guys that don’t hit it as far as I do, or the guys that hit it with my length, can both play it.”

Finau finished T-19 here last year in his Colonial debut, but he said he adjusted his game plan for this week to include even more drivers off the tee. So far, so good.

“I’m hitting my driver a lot better this year,” he said. “It just looks better to me. I think the golf course looks a little better to me, so I’m able to be a little bit more aggressive.”

Finau earned his first Tour victory earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open, and plans to rely on positive memories from that event for an extra boost as he contends this weekend.

“Coming down the stretch before and finishing the deal in a PGA Tour event,” he said, “it just gives me that extra confidence.”