Tony Finau, a professional golfer who is also a die-hard Kobe Bryant fan, won the 2019 PGA Championship on the Black Mamba’s birthday.
The pgatour schedule is a sports website that provides the latest news, scores, and schedules for PGA Tour events.
Tony Finau’s closet has just one NBA jersey: a gold Los Angeles Lakers jersey with a purple No. 8 on the front and the name “Bryant” on the back.
Finau isn’t a big NBA fan, but he has always been a major Kobe Bryant supporter. The pro golfer began cheering for the Lakers at a young age only because of Bryant, and he has been a devoted fan ever since. Finau’s long-awaited second victory came on the Black Mamba’s birthday, after 1,975 days without a victory on the PGA Tour.
Tony Finau was a hero of mine. Bryant, Kobe
During the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, Tony Finau cheers up the crowd while donning a Kobe Bryant jersey | Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
Every professional athlete had a link to Bryant in some way. During his 41 years on this planet, some were fortunate enough to know him and spend time with him, while others just admired him from afar.
You would assume that PGA Tour players are uninterested in Bryant’s life and profession, but this is far from the case. Take a look at the Waste Management Phoenix Open from 2020. Several golfers wore Kobe gear while playing the famous 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale a few days after Bryant’s sad passing to commemorate the Lakers great.
Finau dressed up in his Bryant jersey and purple and gold golf shoes with the number “8.24” inscribed on the sides.
Finau remarked last year after his first round at TPC Scottsdale, “I only possess one NBA shirt to give you a sense of how much Kobe meant to me, and just being a Laker fan in general.” “When you think of Los Angeles, you think of Kobe. So that was my only shirt, and I realized, “Hey, now is the time.”
Finau finished second in the event after losing in a two-man playoff against Webb Simpson. There was something about playing for Bryant that sparked his interest, and it showed up again this past weekend.
On Bryant’s birthday, Finau wins the greatest PGA Tour tournament of his career.
Finau had gone five years without winning on the PGA Tour when he reached the final round of the Northern Trust. He’d established himself as the most gifted golfer on the Tour but just couldn’t seem to clinch the deal.
All of that changed on Monday.
Finau snuck into a playoff against Cameron Smith with a final-round 65 at Liberty National, and all he needed was a par on 18 to win for the first time in 1,975 days. The most amazing part? On what would have been Kobe’s 43rd birthday, he did it.
Finau told reporters after the victory, “It’s more huge I believe for simply my feeling of achievement.” “Losing is difficult, and losing in front of the world is much more difficult. I’ve done it a number of times already this year. That piqued my interest. If it doesn’t deter you, it will make you hungry. ‘When are you going to win again?’ you folks keep asking. That makes me want to eat even more.
“Until now, everything has been equal. It was past time for me to triumph once more.”
Taking the FedEx Cup Playoffs by storm
Monday’s victory wasn’t simply Finau’s greatest win of his career. With just two events remaining in the playoffs, it also propelled him to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings. Finau is currently in the driver’s seat to win the TOUR Championship, which is worth a total of $15 million on the PGA Tour.
Not only that, but Finau’s victory propelled him into the top six in the United States. Standings in the Ryder Cup, which would secure him a place on the squad if he stayed for another week.
Finau may be on his way to having his greatest month of his career thanks to some heroics in the last round and a little Kobe magic.
RELATED: PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs: Updated Points Standings After Tony Finau’s Huge Win at the Northern Trust
- who won pga last week
- pga tour standings
- pro golfers names