Before we write another letter, Tony Finau should be recognized for his honesty here. He didn’t have to tell us, in somewhat frank terms, about last night’s dinner and the first tee and “a PGA Tour player’s nightmare.”
But he did. So here we go.
Thursday afternoon, during the Houston Open first round, Finau was feeling it. He had played his second nine at Memorial Park GC about as good as you can do it — over holes 1 through 9, he carded five birdies and no bogies and rolled in a 59-footer on 2 and a 35-footer on 9 — and all of this had followed a disappointing missed cut a week earlier. He said he had taken no days off since then, but now was giving us the cliche about post-good-round meals.
“It makes dinner taste a lot better, for sure,” Finau said.
On Friday morning, he was better. He dropped 10 birdies, six on the front and four on the back, and was four strokes clear of everyone. Afterward, Finau even talked of being in the zone. Good stuff. And then a reporter did their due diligence and followed up.
“You said yesterday that finishing late and then starting early without much turnaround time was going to make dinner feel better. So two-part question: What do you have for dinner, and is it sometimes good to have that late finish, quick start so the momentum never goes away even though you go to sleep for a few hours?”
“Yeah, my favorite tee time always is late-early,” Finau said. “If you’re playing bad, you get it over with fast. If you’re playing good, you ride the momentum right into the next day. So it proved to be true this week.
“I think it’s called Blue Fish Sushi, literally like a mile from here, on Washington Street.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, good place.”
“So yeah, it was good,” Finau said.
“Obviously it settled OK?”
“Obviously it settled OK and worked OK,” Finau said. “Actually, I had to use the restroom right off the gate, a PGA Tour player’s nightmare being on the first tee and having to go to the bathroom. So I can’t say that it actually sat the best, but it worked out.”
“It turned out fine.”
“That’s right,” Finau said.
And then the conversation turned back to golf.
It’s here where you’re probably remembering another Finau story — our headline called it: “Tony Finau broke wind on the tee. Then came the real embarrassment” — though if you aren’t, we got you. On the Beef’s Golf Club podcast recently, Finau shared a moment from his 10th hole during the first round of the 2014 Frys.com Open, the first event of his rookie year. He hit out of bounds.
But there was more.
“There’s a nice little crowd around and I tee my ball up and they announce my name,” Finau told pro Andrew “Beef” Johnston and co-host John Robins on the podcast. “And as soon as I take the club back … I ripped one of the loudest farts you’ve ever heard.”
At this point, Finau and the hosts burst into laughter.
“I just decided that I was going to do it,” Finau continued. “I knew it was coming, but I take it back, and almost simultaneously, as the club is kind of rising back, you hear this, like, really loud [makes fart noise]. And I end up still hitting the shot.”
Then he had to hit again.
“People are already laughing before I even hit the shot because it was literally, like, as I was taking the club back,” Finau said. “So I had to re-tee and, again, I’m a rookie. First of all, if you hit it out of bounds on the first hole and you have to re-tee, that’s so embarrassing.
“But having farted super loud and having to re-tee was about as embarrassing a moment I think as I’ve ever had on a golf course.”