Finau returns from ankle injury
April 24, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- April 24, 2018
- Tony Finau dislocated his ankle following his hole-in-one at the Masters Par-3 Contest. (Andrew Redignton/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, La. – When Tony Finau posted pictures of his busted ankle on social media after the Masters, it was anyone’s guess when he might return to competition.
The one-time PGA TOUR winner made headlines all over the world on Masters eve when he dislocated his ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one in the traditional Par-3 Contest at Augusta National.
Amazingly – after popping it back into place himself – he played.
Even more amazingly he finished 10th in his Masters debut.
But as the pictures graphically showed – he had suffered significant damage to his left ankle.
While he admits he is not yet fully healed, Finau returns to competition this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, partnered up with Daniel Summerhays.
They breed them tough in the Finau family.
“We will see how it feels when I get out there and play. I haven’t been doing a lot of that, just a lot of rehab,” Finau said as he started practice at TPC Louisiana.
He spent the last few weeks feverishly working on the injury with the help of trainers from the Utah Jazz and professionals from the University of Utah Orthopedic Centre.
“I feel like their expertise; their working with something like this every day of the year; it seems like someone in the NBA has a high ankle sprain every day of the week,” Finau said.
“I tried to make sure I had the best contacts in Utah to help me not rush the process but get me back asap.”
While he could have certainly rested longer, Finau said this week was important to get a feel for just how successful the rehab journey has been.
“We felt like it has gotten to a point where it is more mobile and the only way we are really going to know where we are at is to come out and compete and see how it feels,” he added.
“The journey is far from over as far as dealing with the foot. I dealt with ankle injuries before, they can linger for a while; I don’t think it’s going to be 100 percent for a while, but I do feel like it’s ready to go and play and compete.”
Finau now hopes to use the injury as a positive motivator going forward. His incredible play at Augusta has sparked even more belief into the already confident 28-year-old.
While those on the outside of the golf world were impressed by his toughness, Finau was quick to point out many PGA TOUR players are always playing hurt.
“I wanted to post those pictures after, but I didn’t want anyone to think I had excuses,” he explained.
“When I tee it up I am ready to compete, I am ready to play. Same thing this week.
“There is never any excuse, but I wanted people to just understand and respect that was what I was dealing with throughout the week and how much work it took for me to play.
“It was an interesting week but man it was something I will never forget. To top it off with a top 10 in my first Masters just puts it in perspective – I think you can accomplish things that maybe your body feels like you can’t if you just put your mind to it.”