Tony Finau’s loyalty is to the PGA Tour and no amount of money was going to sway him to join LIV Golf.
But that does not mean Finau holds a grudge against his former Tour peers who jumped to LIV. In some cases, just the opposite.
TMZ Sports caught up with Finau in Arizona during the Phoenix Open and asked him if he’s still cool with his peers who defected to LIV, the league financed by the Saudis.
“Yeah, I like them,” he said.
Finau added he even misses many of them.
“A lot of the international guys I miss, Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer,” he said. Finau then added how much he misses Jupiter’s Brooks Koepka, saying he is “one of my closest guys on Tour.”
Finau said it’s been about a year since he’s seen many of them.
Unlike Koepka, Finau resisted the money as LIV was starting up last year, and his game has taken off.
No. 13 in World Golf Rankings, Finau has three wins and eight top-10 finishes in his last 12 starts. He was 14th at the Phoenix Open this weekend.
In July he became one of five golfers since 1980 with consecutive titles by at least three strokes on the Tour joining Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas. Finau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic and 3M Open.
Meanwhile, Koepka, who was born and raised in Palm Beach County, will open the LIV season next week at Mayakoba, Mexico, off consecutive rough starts on the Asian Tour. He missed the cut last weekend at the International Series and finished tied for 46th at the PIF Saudi International.
The weekend marked the two-year anniversary of Koepka’s last Tour victory, the 2021 Phoenix Open. His last four Tour events are the majors. He missed the cut twice and finished 55th twice. This from a man who won four majors and once was the most feared golfer in the world when playing on the biggest stages.
Koepka, who has one win after joining LIV last summer, has sunk to No. 78 in the World Golf Rankings, his lowest in more than 8 1/2 years.
Finau, who has won more than $34 million in prize money on the PGA Tour, may miss his buddies but last summer he explained why he is not joining them.
“To me, at this point in my career, it’s so much about the satisfaction of winning golf tournaments and playing against the best players in the world on what I feel is the best tour in the world,” he told reporters at his annual foundation pro-am golf event in his home state of Utah.
“And the satisfaction that comes from it, no amount of money can buy. It’s just the fulfillment that I’m after, after all these years of working hard and now being at my best that I’ve ever been, to have the opportunity to reap the rewards.”
Photos: Tony Finau through the years
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