I know it's kind of blown up on social media and I've seen the video replay in my head millions of times overnight. It is what it is, one of my most embarrassing moments and a scary moment at the same time. —Tony Finau
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The video made the rounds on social media around the world and it wasn’t all positive with many mocking Tony Finau for injuring himself after celebrating a hole-in-one Wednesday afternoon in the Masters Par-3 Contest and comparing him to other athletes who had done something similar.
For Finau, even though it was “embarrassing,” he was able to laugh about it a day later, especially after he came back with the second-best score of the opening round of the Masters, a 4-under-par 68
“I know it's kind of blown up on social media and I've seen the video replay in my head millions of times overnight," he said. "It is what it is, one of my most embarrassing moments and a scary moment at the same time.”
Finau answered all the questions in the Masters press room after his round and most had to do with his injury the day before that nearly kept him from playing Thursday.
“It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing,” Finau said of his celebratory run. “I have no idea why . . . I just started sprinting. It was my first Par-3 Contest, my first Masters. I made a hole-in-one . . . I just took off running. I saw my family behind me and turned around. I’m probably not a great DB (defensive back), you know doing the backpedaling.”
Finau said he had never dislocated his ankle before, although he had rolled his right ankle at least one time. To many folks, the amazing thing was how Finau was able to sit on the ground and pop his ankle back into place.
“I saw where it was and I knew where it needed to be,” Finau said, eliciting laughter in the press room. ”Instinctively you know, so I just tried. If it didn’t work, then I would have laid there and been even more embarrassed, being pulled out on a stretcher celebrating a hole-in-one.”
After the injury, Finau said he “tried to be as smooth as I could getting up and walking away,” but admitted, “it was quite scary all night, just not knowing what was going to happen this morning.”
For Finau it was his 12th hole-in-one of his life and the most exciting because of it being at the Masters with his whole family watching. However, he said he learned his lesson about too much celebrating.
“I won’t be doing that the rest of my career,” he said.
TIN CUP: Defending champion Sergio Garcia had his own embarrassing time Thursday afternoon at the par-5 15th hole where he hit five balls in the water on his way to a 13, the highest score ever recorded on that hole in the Masters.
Garcia’s feat was reminiscent of the movie "Tin Cup" in which Roy McAvoy, played by Kevin Costner, repeatedly hits shot after shot into the water until he gets it right.
Garcia was 1-over par going into the hole but finished with an 81, which left him in a tie for 85th place and likely to miss the cut for the weekend. Only one golfer, English amateur Harry Ellis, shot higher Thursday with an 86.