Did Tony Finau win the Netflix series? | ‘Full Swing’ Ep. 6 recap

tony finau and his family

Tony Finau and his family celebrate his 3M Open victory in July.

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The long-anticipated Netflix series “Full Swing” hit streaming devices on Feb. 15 with eight episodes featuring a dozen stars who brought us inside their homes and lives on tour in 2022. So, what did you miss? And what do you need to know? Here, we’ll break down every episode.

Read all of our episode recaps here: Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 | Ep. 7 | Ep. 8


Episode 6 of “Full Swing” — “Don’t get bitter, get better” — focused on two players and two paths, but one, Tony Finau, was the clear leading man. The show followed Finau and his family and gave viewers a peek behind the curtain of Finau, the father, who over the past year had his entire family (wife and five kids) travel with him to the majority of his PGA Tour stops.

Up until last season, Finau, who is 33, had won just twice on Tour while finishing second eight times. He then added two more runner-up finishes early in 2022. Why hasn’t someone with his talent won more? What was holding him back? And was his family’s close proximity on the road helping or hindering him? The latter was a storyline Netflix tried to push.

The other pro featured was Collin Morikawa, who won two majors before turning 25. Morikawa’s storyline was the same but different, because most storylines are focused on winning. Morikawa did that a lot (five times) in a three-year span on Tour. In the episode, he seemed to be enjoying the perks of a young star and millionaire (private plane to the Masters, a meeting with Adidas to go through tournament scripting) while battling the harsh reality of the sport — it’s really hard to win.

Morikawa still hasn’t won since his Open victory in July 2021. Was that his peak? Is his peak still ahead? When will the next win come? How do you keep winning? That seemed to be the internal struggle.

What golf fans might have learned

Those who follow the PGA Tour closely know Finau’s family and faith are important to him, but I’m not sure it was ever told, or at least picked up, how different 2022 was for the Finaus than previous years.

In the episode, Finau talked about how his wife, Alayna, recently lost her father, and they made the decision for Alayna and the kids (all five of them) to travel with Tony as much as possible to events in 2022.

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“You can get so engulfed in the game of golf. A lot of time you don’t enjoy the joys in your life,” Finau said. “This year was a year I knew I needed to be there with my wife, and I will say a lot of my focus was to make sure she was mentally and emotionally OK.”

The episode kept bringing up the word distraction. Sure, it was great for the Finaus to travel and spend so much time together, but was that distracting for Tony on the course? Brandel Chamblee, who was interviewed in the episode, said he knew many players who didn’t like themselves when they were playing their best golf. They were on edge, or they weren’t present with their family. But he said that’s not Finau. Morikawa chimed in on the time commitment, too, saying being selfish isn’t a bad thing; it’s a good thing, and you have to be selfish about managing your time and health to perform your best.

“My career means a lot to me, and at times I think we can mistake that it means everything,” Finau said. “I knew what my wife was going through. I knew what she was dealing with. It was more important for me to be there for her during these firsts than really anywhere else. So could my game have taken a back seat? Maybe. Potentially. But that’s not really as important to me as my wife was and making sure I was there for her as the strength that’s she been for me for many years.”

What non-golf fans might have learned

Not everyone wins on the PGA Tour, all the time, and it’s a grind. Sure, for some the travel is first-class, the hotels luxurious and the meals sumptuous, but the pressure they put on themselves to win is the same for everyone. It takes a toll.

One other thing that made this episode different was showing where Finau grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and interviews with his father about how he got into the game. Finau didn’t come from a country-club upbringing like so many players on Tour, which is how most casual fans perceive the sport.

“I literally thought, ‘This has got to be the dumbest game ever,'” Finau’s dad, Kelepi, joked when some of his kids got into the sport. “Tennis is easier.”

collin morikawa after winning the open
Collin Morikawa waves to the crowd after winning the 2021 Open Championship. Getty Images

3 random thoughts

1. Morikawa was annoyed his new glove didn’t fit how he liked when he was at the Masters. “Real big stickler on this,” he said. It’s the little things, people! Pros are particular.

2. I covered the 2022 3M Open, and after sitting in on Finau’s winning press conference, I returned to my desk in the press center to get back to work on my game story. One problem: someone was in my chair. Finau’s oldest son, Jraice, sat down there to listen to his father speak to the media. He saw me and moved before I had to say anything, but I gave him the option to help anyway. “Hey, you could always write about your dad’s win for me?” I joked. He flashed a big smile, just like the rest of the Finaus did that day.

3. Finau had at least six or seven smart, thoughtful and inspirational quotes that should be printed on posters and plastered on walls in elementary school gymnasiums across the country.

1 thing you might have missed

At the Masters, Finau said he got kicked out of the past champions’ parking lot. If you are new to golf and stumbling upon this story — yes, there’s a parking lot just for past winners. And you know what else? A whole champions’ locker room, too, which looks out over Magnolia Lane, that long, exhilarating drive competitors make up to the clubhouse.

Best quote

“I definitely believe you can be a great golfer and be a great husband and great golfer. Balancing it is extremely tough. But for me, it’s like, why can’t I have both?” — Tony Finau

Final takeaway

Did Finau win the entire series? Throughout the episode he was honest and thoughtful, and he undoubtably gained a ton of fans. You got to see him as a father and a competitor, a husband and a son. He got emotional often while talking about the latter.

tony finau after winning in detroit
Tony Finau won in Detroit to make it back-to-back Ws on the PGA Tour. Getty Images

Finau’s mom, Ravena, died in a car accident in 2011. He discussed how that affected him, which assured him he was making the right decision to be by his wife as much as possible while she was still in the grieving process about her own father. With cameras rolling at the Tony Finau Foundation Golf Classic, Finau said he was grateful for the sacrifices his parents made for him, driving him to events all through the state.

“I had a pretty amazing mom, and I feel like I just have to show the world not only what a great player I am, but the person I was raised to be,” Finau said.

But besides dishing out wonderful nuggets of wisdom along the way — things like “winners are losers that never give up” and “if you don’t win you learn” — Finau’s story also had a happy ending.

He won the 3M Open. A week later, he won the Rocket Mortgage Classic. His family was in the Twin Cities to watch the former, but not all the kids were in Detroit for the latter.

“My kids, they see the work that dad puts in,” Finau said in Detroit. “And it means everything to me that my kids can watch me not only fail but win as well, and that’s what it takes to be champion.”

When Finau got back to the airport in Provo, Utah, that night, he was greeted with a massive welcome-home celebration by his extended family. The show wrapped as he pulled away, driving the family van. Seconds later the kids were arguing. Finau was back in dad mode again.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.