Sports | February 14, 2023 12:42 pm

Which LIV Defector Does Tony Finau Miss Having on the PGA Tour the Most?

Finau, 33, has risen to number 13 in the World Golf Rankings

Tony Finau at the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
Tony Finau has won more than $34 million in prize money on the PGA Tour.
Maddie Meyer/Getty

During the 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open — where he finished tied for 14th at eight-under to bank $335,000 — Tony Finau revealed to TMZ that he was a little sad about not being able to compete with some of his former peers at the PGA Tour event.

Finau, who has risen to number 13 in the World Golf Rankings, has lost a number of his buddies to Saudi-backed LIV Golf and is no longer able to play against them on the Tour. “A lot of the international guys I miss, Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer,” the 33-year-old told TMZ. “I haven’t seen them in literally like a year.” He added that Brooks Koepka was “one of my closest guys on tour.” (A previous poll of writers for determined that LIV defector Cameron Smith was probably the PGA Tour’s biggest loss.)

Despite missing his guys, Finau’s game has not suffered, as he has three wins and eight top-10 finishes in his last 12 starts. A five-time winner overall on the PGA Tour, Finau has banked more than $34 million and could have collected even more if he had jumped ship to LIV Golf. But, as he told reporters last year at his annual Tony Finau Foundation pro-am golf event, money isn’t everything.

“To me, at this point in my career, it is so much more about the satisfaction of winning golf tournaments and winning against the best players in the world — on what I feel like is the best tour in the world,” he said. “And the satisfaction that comes from that, no amount of money can buy.”

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Expect to see more of Finau on the leaderboard and elsewhere, as he is one of the stars of Netflix’s upcoming golf reality series Full Swing. In addition to spending time with Finau and his family at home, Netflix’s camera crew began shooting him at last year’s Genesis Invitational and stayed with him through the Tour Championship.

“I allowed a lot because it was something I wanted to share on and off the course,” Finau told The Golf Channel. “I hope that it resonates with non-golfers, mostly, and brings that attraction that F1 has done,”

Clearly inspired by Netflix’s popular Drive to Survive series that documents F1 racing, as Finau alluded to above, Full Swing will drop tomorrow with all eight 45-minute episodes available for streaming.