SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Tony Finau began playing golf in the summer of 1997 when he was 8 years old, which makes the ’99 Ryder Cup his first memory of the matches.
“It’s still one of the coolest moments for our American team to look back and reflect on that win, the comeback,” he said. “It was a special thing for us Americans, but for me starting and playing and seeing how excited they were, I started to look at the Ryder Cup as a goal of mine to be on that team and share some of those memories.”
That two key members of the ’99 team, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, are sharing a locker room with Finau this week at Le Golf National only makes his first start at the Ryder Cup that much more special.
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“Those are two guys, two of my golfing idols growing up and I think pretty much the other [nine] guys on the team can say the same thing,” Finau said. “This is a special Ryder Cup for us, and I think this is a very special one for them, as well.”
For Finau, it’s a fitting end to what has been an eventful year that included a severely injured ankle during the Par 3 Contest at the Masters as well as top-10 finishes in three of the four majors.
“Just having a spot on this team, it’s been a dream of mine since I started playing the game at 8 years old,” Finau said.