Tony Finau wants to set the record straight. He wasn’t playing golf with his kids only after his $1.386 million payday on Sunday night — he did it all week.
Finau won the Mexico Open at Vidanta on Sunday, besting Jon Rahm by three to win the sixth tournament of his PGA Tour career and fourth in the last 10 months. It was a good win for Finau, but he received just as much attention for a viral video that circulated on Twitter afterwards.
Finau looked like he was caddying for two of his three sons, Jraice and Sage, on the resort’s par-3 course.
Finau, who’s now back in the States and playing this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, was asked about that video on Tuesday at Quail Hollow Club. He said he was actually playing with them on Sunday night, not just caddying. And he said they were out there every night last week — either with two of his boys or just his oldest, Jraice — so Sunday was just a continuation of their week-long par-3 extravaganza.
“My younger son Sage is starting to get into it,” Finau said. “During the [Masters] Par-3 Contest this year, I had him hit a putt. He doesn’t like golf at all, he just likes being with dad. I had him hit a putt from 12 feet after I hit a shot there and he ended up making the putt. Everybody went crazy and it kind of changed his whole persona about golf — he wanted to hit the next putt and the next putt. Ever since then he’s been asking me to play golf, so I took him out a couple times last week.”
Let’s make one thing clear: Finau isn’t looking for a medal, or even publicity. In fact, he was just doing what his dad did with him and what he enjoys doing with his own children.
“It was just cool to cap off an amazing week with my boys and be on the golf course. I fell in love with the game of golf playing evening golf with my dad and my brother and it brings back memories that are just unforgettable,” Finau said. “Hopefully my boys are enjoying it like I was when I was a kid, just being with my dad and my brother. It’s just special to be with them no matter what. If I would have finished second I would have been with them still. My boys were counting on me and that’s something that I take pride in just as a father.
“I look at myself, I’m kind of a part-time golfer, full-time father,” he continued. “That’s kind of my thing. My kids are only young once and my boys are only young once, I want to make sure I’m there for them as much as possible. That’s also why I have them travel with me. It’s pretty dang cool that we’re able to share that special moment on the golf course having won the tournament, but then shooting straight over to the par-3 and then having that time with them was a lot of fun.”
But no, he doesn’t take it easy on them.
“Man, I cleaned house last week,” he said. “I beat up on my boy fortunately all week on the par-3 and then was able to take the trophy at the Mexico Open. It was a good all-around week in golf for me.”