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While every PGA Tour player has the liberty to craft his own schedule, none are racking up the frequent flyer miles at quite the clip of Tony Finau early in the new year.
Finau is making his first start of 2020 this week not in Hawaii, but in Asia at the European Tour’s Hong Kong Open, where he’s tied for 24th through two rounds. He’ll then quickly jet back to the U.S., where he’ll be one of the headliners for next week’s newly-renamed Palm Springs event, The American Express. This all comes on the heels of a trip last month to Australia, where Finau helped the U.S. retain the Presidents Cup in dramatic fashion.
But Finau’s globetrotting won’t slow down anytime soon, as he is also one of several Americans currently committed to the Jan. 30-Feb. 2 Saudi International.
“I’ve always told myself that I want my game to travel,” Finau said via phone from Hong Kong. “This game has taken me to some amazing places. And Hong Kong and the Middle East are two places that I’ve never been, and to have that opportunity to play in world-class events, I feel like the time for me is now.”
While the geopolitical tensions surrounding the recent death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani have led players like Bryson DeChambeau to reconsider their upcoming travel to the Middle East, Finau still expects to play in Saudi Arabia, where he’ll be joined by the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed.
“We’ve talked about it with my team, and there’s not much that has changed for us,” Finau said. “We’ll continue to monitor the circumstances and the situation and just make the decision that we feel is best when the time comes.”
Finau is ranked No. 16 in the world has played well enough to represent the U.S. in team events each of the last two years. But his lone PGA Tour win remains the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, a footnote that he hopes to erase in short order in the new year.
“I enjoy being on international teams. There’s nothing like it, and it’s the experience of a lifetime to have been on a couple of those teams,” he said. “But at this point in my career, I feel ready to win again on the PGA Tour. It’s been since 2016, and I miss that feeling. But I’ll never stop chasing it, and this year I feel good about knocking off that next one.”