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March 21, 2018

Tony Finau

Austin, Texas

Q. You couldn't wait to finish that match, had some opportunities earlier to close him out?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, for sure. 12, made a mistake there. The momentum kind of changed.

So that's the way this game is, match play especially. The momentum goes out of your favor and anything can happen. I was happy to get it back right away, right on 13 and ride the ship with a couple birdies coming home.

Q. Brendan Steele talked about the same thing, momentum and how you want to hang on to it. But it's so hard to hang on to, isn't it?
TONY FINAU: It really is. So many things can happen. Early in the match, I got down. 6 was a huge turnaround. I bladed my bunker shot in the greenside bunker over the green and he chips his to six feet. So I'm looking like at best I'll be able to tie him with an up-and-down. I got an up-and-down and he missed his, so the momentum stayed on my side.

I hit a close one on 7. It's crazy how it works. You never know when it's going to be in your favor but when it is, just try and ride it.

Q. The final thing, with it being that different style of play, your final putt on 17, in tournament play or stroke play, you are trying to make that, aren't you? Were you just trying to get it close so it was secure?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, for sure. You still want to try and make it but you don't want to run it four feet by. I hit a perfect putt eight inches below the hole and broke off. It's quite a bit different in that aspect.

It kind of caught up with me on 12. In tournament play, I'm not worried about what somebody else does. But when somebody else hits it in the water, I need to change my line and I just didn't. So something I've got to learn moving forward, but I was happy with the win today.

Q. You mentioned 13, then also again on 15 with the birdie?
TONY FINAU: Those were big bounce backs. I gave one away on 12. All the momentum was on my side on that shot. I hit that in the water to follow him.

On 13, I three-putt from the front edge and so I gave him a couple easy holes.

13 and 15, the opposite of those holes right after, to get the momentum right back. Again, anything can happen. That's the crazy thing about match play. I could definitely feel the momentum changes sometimes on some of those holes. I was happy to just finish the way I did, birdied 15, solid par on 16, solid par on 17 to finish out the match.

Q. This time last year you were alternate and walking around hoping someone drops out and no one did. Then Jason Day drops out the first day. How big a decision was that? You could have went to Puerto Rico to defend your title?
TONY FINAU: I wanted the opportunity to play here in the WGC. I wanted to put all my energy here and not be 50/50 here and not think about Puerto Rico. So when I committed to play here last year, I was planning on playing. When I didn't I was like pack your bags and go home and get ready for next week. Every golf tournament deserves your full attention. I feel like I wouldn't have had my full attention in Puerto Rico. I would have had an opportunity to go there and play. I'm playing against a lot of the best players in the world, doesn't matter where you play. So I had to be prepared. I didn't feel like I was going to be prepared if I left here and played Puerto Rico. So the best thing for me was to pick which one I was going to play. Unfortunately for me, I didn't play. At least I got to see the course, which was cool for me. I came a day later than I probably would have if I didn't.

Q. Did you get to play the course last year at all?

Q. What did you think of the course and how did it play this year compared to last year?
TONY FINAU: I don't know exactly how it played last year. I left early. To be honest, I didn't watch a lot of it. But it's a good match play golf course. There's a couple of holes you can drive. The par-5s are gettable. I don't think it's going to be foreign to see a lot of different momentum changes in a lot of matches. I feel like that golf course is set up this way.

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