Tony Finau changes putting grip, leads Charles Schwab Challenge

Finau switches to the claw putting style grip, and it pays instant reward on the PGA Tour...

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 24 May 2019
Tony Finau changes putting grip, leads Charles Schwab Challenge


Tony Finau has revealed how he switched to the 'claw' style putting grip en route to hitting the front on day one of the Charles Schwab Challenge.

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Finau, 29, had dabbled with the claw grip earlier in his career but had not used it in competition play for a number of years.

But all that changed on Thursday as the big-hitting American raced his way to the top of the leaderboard with a round of 64 and most impressively with his new claw grip, a strokes-gained putting stat of 3.037 to rank him sixth in the field. 


With many people still wondering why Finau just has the one PGA Tour title to his name, an alternate event at that in Puerto Rico three years ago, a quick look at his current putting stats would likely reveal the answer.

Finau languishes well down the board against his peers in 100th place when it comes to the strokes-gained putting statistic on the PGA Tour (0.039).

With his strokes-gained putting at -4.03 on the weekend at the US PGA Championship, Finau called for change and a move back to his old claw putting grip. And it paid instant reward. 

"I haven't been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is, do you feel like you're going to make the putt or not?," said Finau.

"Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt? So for me, I needed to switch something.

"I think it was just time to scratch that itch and see how it goes."

Finau leads a Jordan Spieth and Roger Sloan by one stroke after the opening day's play.

Fresh off his tie for third at last week's US PGA, a resurgent Spieth posted his best ever strokes-gained putting performance in his PGA Tour career with +5.40 on day one - a stat that beats his best of +5.16 in the second round at this year's Players Championship.