January 04, 2016
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Tony Finau ranks second on the PGA TOUR in driving distance this season at 324.9.
KAPALUA, Hawaii – The real Tiger Woods effect? Golfers are more athletic than they’ve ever been. Technology and science play a major role, but Woods moved the needle and the game into a new phase.
The latest example in the age-old golfers-are-athletes debate: Tony Finau, who showed off his hops on his Instagram by dunking a basketball -- flat-footed.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound 26-year-old was a standout basketball player at West High in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he led the state in rebounding his senior year. Finau had scholarship offers in basketball from Utah and Utah State but turned them down to pursue golf, turning pro at age 17.
He’s not the only player on the PGA TOUR with a hoops background, either. Gary Woodland played at Division II Washburn University before turning to golf, while Dustin Johnson – who also has dunked flat-footed -- has shown to be one of the better basketball players, beating former NBA player Shane Battier in a 3-point contest last March.
Finau is of course also pretty good at golf. In just over one full season he has already amassed six top 10s and nearly $2.5 million in earnings.