Tongan-Samoan Golfer Plays In First Professional Tournament

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PGA rookie Tony Finau ties for 64th place in Sony Open

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 20, 2016) –Tony Finau has made history as the first professional golf player of Tongan and Samoan descent invited to play at the Sony Open, the PGA Tour’s first full-field event for 2016 in Hawaii on 15 January.

Still a rookie in only his second year of the PGA Tour, the 6ft 4in, 26-year-old, started off the first round well but finished T-64 at the end of the event.

"Tony Finau is one of the talked about rising golf stars in the USA," said photo-journalist Dan K Aiono Sataraka, who is covering the event in Hawai.

Born in Utah, Tony began playing golf at the age of 8 but he also played basketball throughout high school and was offered college scholarships for golf and basketball.

However, Tony chose to focus on golf and he turned pro in 2007 at the age of 17 and won his first event in August 2014 at the Stonebrae Classic. He earned his PGA Tour card for the 2014 -15 season after finishing 8th in the regular season and 12th in the Tour Finals.

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