UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Jordan Spieth isn’t the only player with some local knowledge on the bag this week at the U.S. Open.
Tony Finau is making his first start in a major, and he has plenty of Chambers Bay insight in the form of his caddie, Greg Bodine. Bodine, who is the cousin of PGA Tour players Michael and Andrew Putnam, grew up about 10 miles from Chambers and estimated earlier this month that he has played the course about 15-20 times.
Finau is putting that knowledge to good use; after a 2-under 68 in the second round, he is 3 under for the week and on the first page of the leaderboard.
“It helps me quite a bit,” Finau said, referring to Bodine's familiarity with the course. “I noticed the more I saw the golf course, the more I was accustomed to the hills and the slopes around the greens. But the one thing you can’t teach is experience, and that’s what my caddie has. It’s been a huge asset to me so far this week.”
Finau is thriving during his rookie season on Tour and entered this week off a run of four straight top-20 finishes that he capped with a T-8 at the Memorial.
“I’m really excited to be out here, and I think it’s shown so far,” Finau said. “I know I’ve been playing well, I’ve had some nice finishes on Tour, which is good leading up into a major. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself out there, but just enjoy the week.”
Finau is among the longest hitters on Tour, averaging more than 307 yards per drive, and he plans to rely on that advantage off the tee this weekend as the pressure gets ratcheted up.
“I feel like have fun and play free, then I’ll be fine,” he said. “Tee it high and hit it far.”