Tony Finau broke wind on the tee. Then came the real embarrassment

Tony Finau had a memorable opening round to his PGA Tour career.

Graphic: Darren Riehl/GOLF

Play golf long enough, and you will encounter a dilemma as old as the game itself.

You address the ball, draw back your club and feel, well, the overwhelming need to break wind

What then? Do you fire away with both the swing and the flatus? Hold your gas until after contact? Channel your inner-Tiger Woods and cut short your swing before you cut something else?

Believe it or not, even Tour pros are sometimes saddled with this indignity, only they play in front of crowds who are there to take it all in: the sights, sounds and, yeah, smells, too.

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Enter Tony Finau, who recently shared the hilarious tale of a tee shot he hit on the 1st hole — his 10th hole of the day — during the first start of his rookie season, the 2014 Frys.com Open.

“There’s a nice little crowd around and I tee my ball up and they announce my name,” Finau told British pro Andrew Johnston (yes, Beef. Remember him?) and his co-host John Robins on the Beef Golf Club 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 two 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.”

Sometimes, the release of natural gasses can relax a player and allow the swing to uncoil freely.

This was decidedly not the case for Finau, whose tee shot snap-hooked 312 yards out of bounds.

Tony Finau’s 10th hole as a PGA Tour member. Shotlink

“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.”

Finau hit a provisional, then left his fourth shot short of the green. A chip and two putts later, he had a memorable triple bogey. The incident didn’t appear to rattle Finau, though, as he made seven birdies against one bogey to open the tournament with a three-under 69. He’d eventually finish tied for 12th.

Talk about stink-to-itiveness.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.