2022 3M Open leaderboard, grades: Tony Finau rallies for third PGA Tour victory as Scott Piercy stumbles

Scott Piercy stood on the eighth tee on Sunday with a five-stroke lead and one hand on the 3M Open trophy. Yet, just as a level of comfort was appearing to surface, the 43-year-old felt a shock to his system, carding four bogeys and an ugly triple-bogey over his next seven holes. What was his loss was Tony Finau’s gain, as the 32-year-old was the man to seize the opportunity and ultimately claim victory at the 2022 3M Open.

Beginning the day five strokes off Piercy’s lead, Finau handled his business on the front nine and turned in 1 under. Adding a birdie on the 11th, the now three-time winner on the PGA Tour was unable to convert his birdie effort on the par-5 12th to get within one of the lead; instead, he dropped three strokes behind Piercy when his competitor made a birdie of his own.

Finau kept his head down, however, and continued to plod along and added birdies on Nos. 14-16. With Piercy experiencing trouble behind him, Finau not only catapulted to the top of the leaderboard, but with a lead that had grown to four strokes in a blink of an eye.

Lucky to catch a break on the par-3 17th when his tee shot remained dry after ricocheting off a grandstand, Finau was able to get up and down for par. It proved to be crucial moment, as he found water off the tee on the closing 18th and made bogey to come in at 17 under for the tournament.

This effort secured his third title on the PGA Tour and his second in less than a year, as his last trip to the winner’s circle came last season at The Northern Trust – the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

In what began as a troubling 2022, Finau has been able to turn his fortunes around ever since the beginning of May. Finau started with runner-up performance at the Mexico Open, and he added a top-five finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge and battled Rory McIlroy down the stretch at the RBC Canadian Open, where he also finished runner up.

While it felt for most of the week as if the field was playing for a spot on the podium due to Piercy’s dominance, this just goes to show the importance of consistently playing oneself into position. Few have been better at this than Finau over the years, who has 29 top-five finishes since 2017.

For Finau, the wins have yet to stack up, but golf is often a game of runs. Patrick Cantlay in last year’s playoffs; Viktor Hovland this past winter; Scottie Scheffler over the spring; and Xander Schauele in the mid-summer months. Maybe, just maybe, this postseason will belong to Tony Finau. Grade: A+

Here are the grades for the rest of notables on the leaderboard at the 2022 3M Open

T2. Sungjae Im (-14): After experiencing a disappointing trip to Scotland, it is encouraging to see Im rediscovering some form. The South Korean withdrew ahead of the Travelers Championship and missed the cut at the US Open. The epitome of consistency, he got right at TPC Twin Cities and married his steady ball striking with some competent putting. Im’s around-the-green game lagged behind, but after playing three straight weeks even golf’s version of Iron Man may have dealt with some sort of fatigue. Grade: B+

T4. Scott Piercy (-13): If you told Piercy at the beginning of the week he would nab a top-five finish, he would have taken it and ran. While the full context of the situation paints a disappointing picture, he will be able to take away some positives despite squandering a five-stroke lead with only 10 holes to play. Piercy started the week 138th in the season-long race and propelled himself to 112th with his play in Minnesota. A win would have seen Piercy inside the top 50, but with only two weeks left in the regular season, seeing his name inside the top 125 does at the very least provide some sense of job security. Grade: A-

T17. Cameron Field (-7): Take away his opening nine holes on Thursday, which he played in 6 over, and Champ put together a solid defense effort. Playing his final 63 holes in 13 under, the three-time winner on the PGA Tour ended a skid that included five consecutive missed cuts. Before this, Champ had finished T10 at the Masters and T6 at the Mexico Open. With a similar finish at TPC Twin Cities, perhaps the 27-year-old will ride this momentum into the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Grade: B

T38. Rickie Fowler (-3): The five-time winner on the PGA Tour was looking for a spark to kickstart the end of his season, but was unable to find it in Minnesota. Finishing in the middle of the pack, Fowler continued his drought, as he has been held without a top-20 finish in 2022. Now even further outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup points race, he will head to next week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic needing to find lightning in a bottle in order to make his way into the postseason. The good news is that Fowler ranked 24th in strokes gained tee to green thanks to strong efforts off the tee and around the green. The bad news is he is a shell of his former self and only has one year of status remaining due to his 2015 Players Championship victory. Grade: D

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