Not often does an opening round at a non-major golf tournament get as much run as what went down at the Farmers Insurance Open yesterday. But I get it. And all the attention was well deserved. And truthfully, I couldn’t wait to back the sled in today and crack the mike.
Because if you saw the undisputed main attraction at Torrey Pines… swing the bats as well he did yesterday—you’d want to hype him, too. Like I said—never really thought I’d lead the show with a golf take on a non-major Friday—but how could you not after this dude’s performance had the whole sports world on its ear?
I’m talking, of course, about: Tony Finau. Tony Freaking Finau!
14 sticks in the bag and a pocket full of Jungle Karma coming off an excellent interview in on the Jungle on Wednesday. I don’t know or how it is, I just know the Jungle Karma is real. And it has never failed. It’s fool proof. Athletes that respect this show have good things happen to them. And ones that don’t inevitably flame in some extremely unfortunate manner. Those who track this sort of thing, know it’s true. And it never fails. The guy comes in, we talk about him potentially jumping into the top ten world rankings, then hit’s the track like he’s already top of the mountain.
So, Take Finau, he came this week, did a lights out interview and look at him now! The only dude in the 156-man field to card a 65. And how about that 65thstroke? Damn near 40 feet out—my man goes straight sniper with the flat-stick.
That 9th birdie on the day put Tony alone at the top of the board and continued an incredible heater for the Jungle Karma that Daniel Cormier and Chael Sonnen kick started last weekend. Way to rep, Tony.
That was the main event. Now to the undercard: Eldrick Tont Woods. Look, I said it earlier this week. I’m gonna keep an open mind. I’m willing to look past how busted up this guy is physically… the disappointing comebacks that inevitably end with him embarrassing himself and the entire Cat nation with his WD’S and rounds of 80+ when he does finish. I was willing to overlook the scandal, and the DUI, and the fact that he ingested an entire drug store before getting behind the wheel of the car. Even overlook the fact this dude can’t break off a decent tip for anyone in the service industry. New Year. New Me. New outlook on the Cat. For now.
And if I’m being straight: It’d be pretty damn hard for me, or anyone else, to crack the dude today. Carding an even par 72 at Torrey is as good as this guy could have hoped for just seven months removed from getting pulled out of his whip at 3 AM, passed out with an entire pharmacy pumping through his blood stream and not knowing what state he was actually in.
So I’m not looking for him to eagle every hole and put dudes away by Friday like he was in the early 2000’s all over again. No. I’m looking for this dude to not explode a knee or snap his Frankenstein spine. I’m looking for this dude to get to a weekend. Because his last two season debuts ended before my traditional end-of-the-work-week cocktail began.
Honk Nation can fantasize all they want about another green coat for their hero this April. I’ve set my bar at: Make a cut. And right now, at this very moment, 18 holes of real, competitive golf stand between him and Saturday. And I don’t care how much you love this dude—if he’s not playing tomorrow—it’ll be impossible to view the first step of the comeback as anything less than disappointing.
Go make the cut, Cat. Because this New Year, New Me—actually wants to see if you’ve got 72 holes in you. Just don’t plan on running down my man, Tony Finau. That ain’t happening.