“I’m going to say it right now, if you don’t get along with Tony Finau, there’s something seriously wrong with you,” said Rahm, 26. “He’s a standup guy, great guy, and we spend a lot of time together back home. A lot of practice rounds, a lot of golf. I just like hanging out with him.”
As for being there for Finau after his agonizing playoff loss, Rahm shrugged. It’s just what friends do.
“I’ve been very fortunate to win both playoffs I’ve been a part of,” he said. “I haven’t had any moments like that on a Sunday. For the most part every time I’ve had a tough moment (my wife) Kelley has been there, my parents have been there, so I’ve had family around. We can’t have family around, so that’s why I was there to have a familiar face.”
Finau, whose 21 top-five finishes since the start of the 2016-17 season are the most among players without a victory over that span, said he didn’t recall what was said but appreciated the gesture.
“I’m not one to play a victim card, but after that day it’s a little bit bitter,” he said. “To feel like you played good enough to win and fall short again, it’s just nice to have someone to lean on. He’s been in situations where he’s won and lost and knows what it feels like at the highest level. He was able to console me for those few seconds and I was appreciative of that.”
It was a tender moment between competitors, but a better way to describe this friendship is: Game recognize game.
“I feel like we both have that short swing and for the most part hit a fade, so we play golf courses very similarly,” Rahm said after driving into trouble and bogeying the par-4 finishing hole at The Concession on Thursday.
“I have a lot of respect for Jon and his game,” said Finau, who made a scrambling par after taking an unplayable lie off the tee on 18. “It started a few years back when I told him I was moving to Scottsdale. We ended up playing some golf together through the quarantine, and kind of just got a lot closer through that experience. But he’s a good dude.”
Finau, a one-time TOUR winner, is ranked 13th in the world and sixth in the FedExCup. He’s also a father of four with wife Alayna.
Rahm, a five-time TOUR winner, is ranked second and is 13th in the FedExCup. He and wife Kelley Cahill are expecting their first child later this year.
“Tony keeps telling me just trust your instincts and you’ll know what to do when it comes,” Rahm said.
The two will continue to practice and play together back home, and continue to battle together at The Concession. They may even start flying together more, Finau said.
True, golf can be cruel, but a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Win or lose, golf or cards, Finau and Rahm have a good thing going.