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May 16, 2024

Tony Finau

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Flash Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Tony Finau is with us at the 106th PGA Championship. Tony, 6-under today.

What are your thoughts on your opening round?

TONY FINAU: It was a really nice round, round of golf. Bogey-free is the way to be. The golf course was, I think, there for the taking if you hit it in the fairway. With my length, I thought I was just able to take advantage of the golf course on a day where it was soft and scorable-type conditions.

Q. We've talked about resilience before and how you really have to cling to it in this game, especially sort of week-in and week-out, the win percentages even for the most successful of you guys aren't that high. How have you been able to hang tight to that resilience, especially in a year like this where the results just kind of haven't been there?

TONY FINAU: Yeah, for sure. Results-wise, I haven't played the golf that I know I'm capable of, and sometimes it can get frustrating, leaving tournaments a little disappointed and kind of searching.

I've always been very hopeful. I never feel like I'm far off. I never believe I'm that far off. I think today was just one of those days that I'm just able to show some resilience. Coming into this week, probably not in my greatest form going into a major championship, but that resilient attitude I think is huge when you're playing big tournaments. You've got to believe that you can play well.

The golf course is a good golf course for me. It's a big golf course. I can swing the driver. I can go ahead and let it rip on a handful of holes. I think the golf course has a lot to do with it, as well.

But no question, you need a resilient attitude to just persevere through major championship days and to put yourself in contention.

Q. Is there anybody on your team who gets in your ear about that and who keeps your spirits up or another athlete who you look to and say, look, this guy is a great example of somebody who keeps just coming?

TONY FINAU: Yeah, I think I learned from so many different guys. I just added somebody to my team that I kind of have him as like a process coach, someone that allows me to have a process and have expectations that I can manage.

So I think that's been helpful. He's been someone I could bounce ideas off, and he's been a great addition, I think, to my team.

Q. Two things. Patience-wise, what kind of test has this been for you this year? Secondly, how important was it to get out fast today and really get yourself rolling?

TONY FINAU: Yeah, it was a huge round today. I haven't been off to -- this is the best start I've been off to in a major championship in my career, and I just haven't been able to play first great first rounds, really, all year. So I'm playing catch up from the beginning.

It's nice to be in front of most of the guys after one round. Who knows how the guys are going to play in the afternoon, but I know I put myself where I need to be to allow myself to play good golf moving forward. And I always feel like I'm chasing the guys in front of me. It's a nice feeling to get off to the start that I did today.

As far as patience, yeah, as they say, patience is a virtue. It's something that I've tried to have throughout my whole career, throughout my life really, and I've definitely had to use every -- muster up every ounce of patience this year. Things just haven't gone my way I've felt like.

But again, I always play -- I never feel like I'm far off. I'm a very hopeful person, a very faithful person that you just keep stacking up wins on days, and they'll start to go your way eventually. It was nice to just get off to a nice start today.

Q. You mentioned the course and the conditions were favorable for scoring today. What specifically did you see out there that led to some of the lower scores?

TONY FINAU: Yeah, the greens are soft. So it didn't matter what clubs you were hitting into the greens; they were going to stop. I thought whether it was a 5-iron, a wedge, a 9-iron.

So whenever that's the case, we don't have to play for too much bounce, I think you're going to see a lot of guys hit the ball in areas where you can make putts. I think that's what I mean by that.

The golf course, the fairways are not bouncing too much, so you're going to -- guys are going to hit more fairways, and then the greens aren't bouncing, so the guys are going to hit more greens. Whenever that's the case, I think you've got scorable conditions, and I think you've seen that Xander; that 9-under is impressive no matter what.

But you can see something like that on a day like today.

Q. When you get those conditions, do your eyes get wide going into a day like today, like this is a day we can go low?

TONY FINAU: I don't know about my eyes getting wide, but you for sure know there's going to be some holes there for the taking. You're going to hit some good shots. You're going to have a lot of looks. That's what you saw out there today. Not only myself, but Sahith, who I was playing with, finished with a flurry of birdies. I think you can go on a run here with the conditions, and it's going to make for a fun week.

Q. Tony, the longer you do this, do you more cherish a day like this in a major and the opportunity you're given yourself, or does it go the other way where it's like, no big deal yet?

TONY FINAU: Yeah, I think -- man, I think a little bit of both.

As your career unfolds, you love playing good golf. I think at the end of the day, there's no question. Again, sometimes the results go your way, sometimes they don't.

But you keep trying to stack up wins each day and work hard, and just see where it takes you. You can only do as good as you are. I'm just trying to be the best I can.

But it is always nice anytime you can post a good round in a major championship, it adds to your aura and your confidence for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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