Tony Finau is a big man with soft hands and a gentle voice, but his courtly manner belies the violence he visits upon his golf ball.
Finau, a lanky 6’4″, leads the PGA Tour in driving distance at 323.7 yards a pop, what will be a record if he can maintain it for a full season. But this 28 year-old is more than just a slugger, as a polished all-around game has him 7th on Tour in stroke average and having already enjoyed four top-6 finishes this season.
The journey to stardom has been long and circuitous for a man of color who grew up hand-to-mouth in Salt Lake City. Finau sat down with me last week in Mexico City to discuss how far he’s come and where he’s headed. That included tales of his mattress-smashing training in his childhood garage, dunking on his rival high school on the hardwood and pushing his luck as a youngster trying to go pro in Las Vegas. Check it all out in the podcast below.