clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

An Extremely Close Reading of Tony Finau’s Hole-in-One Turned Possible Ankle Injury

Allow Finau to guide you through the full range of human emotions in under 30 seconds

Houston Open - Round One Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Let me begin with a caveat: I am not a doctor. I do not know what constitutes an injury, or how to treat an injury—any injury—or what exactly a professional athlete must do to avoid an injury. Recently, I tried to jog across a street to catch up with an Uber and badly twisted my ankle. I limped for two days. My qualifications for ankle-related judgment? Poor.

But also, did you see The Video? Have you intentionally not been watching The Video? Would you like to be brave for me and watch The Video now? We can do it together. It will be worth it, I promise.

On Wednesday afternoon, Tony Finau, the 28-year-old professional golfer previously best known for a second-place finish on Big Break Disney and for being the second cousin of not-at-all-injury-prone Bucks forward Jabari Parker, was playing at the traditional Masters eve par-3 tournament at Augusta National. Things were going fine—Finau would finish the day at 1 under par—until suddenly they were going much better than fine. With his wife, Alayna, and their four children looking on, he teed up at the seventh hole and swung:

With the ball still in the air and all the boring grown-ups attentively observing, his son appeared to already know something special was in the works:

Something really special:

Specifically, that something wound up being a hole-in-one. Wow! Magnificent! Let the princess pop out of the center of the mini golf castle; may your next visit be 50 percent off. Alayna was appropriately excited:

But not nearly as excited as Tony himself. Finau went bounding down the fairway, one finger raised to the heavens, in case the Great Golf God in the sky was distracted with his Great Golf Scorecard and happened to miss what just happened on this most sacred Augusta greenery:

Tremendous! Really great work. I wonder what the rest of the Finau family is doing, though? Tony—better turn around and check, my man. But no need to stop running. You can do that backwards, for sure. How hard can it be, here on this neatly mowed hill, with hundreds of spectators cheering on all sides?

Look at his children! So small! So proud! Look! Look! Wait, no, seriously, look down!

Oh no. He tripped. How dreadful! Hope Tony’s OK.

[rewinds] Tony is definitely not OK.

To return to my non-doctordom: I do not know what this injury is. Is it a dislocation? Is it a break? Is it a nasty sprain? Is it something less terrible—maybe just some sort of shoe mishap? Has anyone ever been quite so happy at the moment their limb went 90 degrees in the wrong direction? I do not know, but I am reasonably confident this would be, to me, a fatal injury. But Tony is strong. What does one do here, now that this has happened? Scream, probably. Collapse, wailing into the great green earth. Refuse to move until the paramedics have been summoned. Wait for a body bag.

But Tony? Not Tony. Here, friends, is an image of Dr. Tony Finau, a degree he won Wednesday via self-diagnosis, doing what looks a great deal like popping his own ankle back into place:

And here he is, moments later, resolutely standing up and using his possibly horrifically injured ankle to continue propelling his body forward in a motion typically referred to as “walking”:

As of press time, Finau is continuing to golf.