First, Webb Simpson roared into the Masters lead with an 8-under par on Saturday. Not to be outdone, Tony Finau matched it, fueled by a 6-under on the front-9 at Augusta National to currently sit atop the leaderboard (with 1 hole left).
The 29-year old native from Salt Lake City, despite his age, has been no stranger to the professional ranks. He hit the Web.com Tour in 2006, and just a year later qualified for the PGA due to earning six figures and finding a sponsor. Per the Deseret News:
n 2007, 17-year-old Tony was awarded $100,000 in tournament winnings and had a sponsor who would financially support him if he turned pro. According to ESPN, the teenager was also offered a full golf scholarship from UNLV and BYU at the time — both good options for the aspiring golfer.
It didn’t take long for Tony to know which path he wanted to take, though. Mulling it over for just 30 minutes, he said that turning professional just felt right.
“It was a family decision, but I just put faith and trust in the Lord,” he said. “Essentially, my parents directed me in the right path,” he added, noting that they had been fasting and praying about the opportunity. “They were all for me turning professional and starting that journey as a family with my golf career.”
Over the last decade-plus, Finau has won over $14 million according to his PGA Tour profile. His best year was last season, as he snagged over $5.6 million due to a trio of 2nd-place finishes at the Safeway Open, Genesis Open and Northern Trust Bank Tournament. He also found himself in the top-5 at last year’s U.S. Open.
He’s off to a good pace this season, finding himself in the top-25 earners out of all PGA golfers. According to ESPN, Finau has won $1,763,657 over 11 events. That includes a 2nd-place finish at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions back in late October.
With a win at Augusta National tomorrow, Finau could more than double his earnings for this season. The $11.5 million purse guarantees $2.07 million for the champion. According to CBS Sports, here’s how the other top-10 finishers would be paid.
2019 Masters Prize Money, Purse & Payouts
Total purse: $11.5 million
Finau will have to fight off a surging Tiger Woods, as well as Simpson, in order to take home the hefty paycheck. Stay tuned for his tee time for Sunday.