PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania: Tony Finau, a long-driving American golfer of Tongan and Samoan heritage, was named to the final vacant spot on the US Ryder Cup team on Monday by US captain Jim Furyk.
The 28-year-old from Utah completes the 12-man American lineup that will defend the trophy against Europe in the biennial team golf showdown on September 28-30 at Le Golf National in France.
Finau, who won his only US PGA title at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, had three top-10 major finishes this season — sharing 10th at the Masters, taking fifth at the US Open and sharing ninth at the British Open.
“We were looking for guys who had a great body of work all year. He had 11 top 10s. Played good in big moments. He had three top 10s in majors,” Furyk said.Finau boosted his chances by joining a group that played at Le Golf National earlier this year.
“I liked what I saw,” Furyk said of Finau’s play on the French host layout. “He had a lot of support from our vice captains. Ultimately, I thought he was our best pick.”
The Americans, who haven’t won in Europe since 1993, figure to add power and endurance with Finau, who filmed a message of reaction from a plane as he left Monday’s final round of the PGA BMW Championship for a charity event in Utah.“I’m so excited to be on the Ryder Cup team,” Finau said. “I can’t wait to get to Paris.”